Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Butternut Squash Saag

Rachel and I made Butternut Squash Saag tonight--an Indian inspired dish.  Again, it's great to have something spiced and warm to eat on a cold, rainy day.  You could also use pumpkin or some other squash in this recipe, depending on your preferences.   

I've decided to start incorporating pictures into my blog, so here's the final product!

I'll have to keep working on my food photography since food is notoriously difficult to capture on camera; but, I think this picture captures the beautiful colors in the dish quite nicely! 

Butternut Squash Saag

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil
  • 1 large onion, diced finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 teaspoons garam masala (if you don't have this, mix together cumin, coriander, cardamom, pepper, cloves, and nutmeg--this will come close!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-inch cube fresh ginger, peeled and minced finely
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach (approximately 2 bunches), washed and chopped coarsely
  • juice of 1/2 lime

First, prepare the squash.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Using a strong knife and a careful hand, cut the squash in half lengthwise.  Remove the seeds and seed-goo with a spoon.  Place the squash cut side down in a baking dish and fill the dish with about an inch of water.  Bake for 45 minutes, until you can easily insert a fork into the flesh.  Once the squash is baked, let it cool completely before peeling away the skin and chopping it into 1-inch chunks.
Next, move on the the rest of the dish.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté for a couple more minutes until everything is lightly brown.  Add the squash and continue cooking for a few minutes until the mixture is heated through.  Add the spices, salt, and ginger.  Stir the mixture and add the water.  Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  You can mush up the squash a bit if you'd like smaller pieces, but do leave some pieces chunky.  Add the spinach in batches, stirring well between additions.  Cook for about 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the lime juice, and enjoy! 

I had never had Butternut Squash Saag before, but it was worth the try!  The dish wasn't spicy (though you could add more cayenne to change this); instead, it was pleasantly spiced and gave off a nice aroma.  Plus, as I mentioned before, the colors were great.  This dish appeals to many senses!  We didn't serve the saag over rice, though you could do so to add more bulk.

Rachel was also pleasantly surprised by the saag.  She thought the flavor combination was unexpected and unlike other dishes she has had in the past.  She (and I) thought we could've cooked the squash a bit longer, but that is easily remedied.

Time-saving note: I cooked the squash one day in advance to avoid a really extended prep time tonight, and I think that was a great move.  If you decide to cook the squash in advance, just make sure you let it cool, cover it in plastic wrap or put it in a sealed container, and refrigerate it.


  1. Eastish meets Westish; well-played.

  2. The picture looks great!!! Maybe just because I'm hungry and it looks delicious

  3. I like making breakfast with my kids. I tend to be a bit of a control freak in the kitchen, though. I often find it best to point them in the right direction, then move to another room of the house until they need help witg something. Techlazy.com Crazyask.com Howmate.com

  4. Just made this for dinner tonight, so good! I had some trouble finding some of the ingredients so I substituted tahini and a red curry paste for the miso, also did shrimp instead of tofu (for pleasure of
    My fiancé haha) but I have to say to definitely make the soft boiled egg! It was the cherry on top?UpdateLand