Enjoy summer veggies while they last

Published 1:08 am Saturday, September 8, 2012

The summer vegetables are coming to an end, and some fall vegetables are making their way forward. My husband brought in some butternut squash, some more green beans, and some curry leaves. So the search began for what to do with these. Of course, Indian curry comes to my mind and with just a few extra spices and some more vegetables you have a wonderful meal with a great combination of flavors.

The September issue of Food and Wine had a nice section on south Indian food and that just suited what I wanted to cook. The use of coconut milk is common in south Indian cooking and one can find coconut milk in all the stores now. From Food and Wine, September, 2012.


Keralan Vegetable Stew

4 servings

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons finely julienned peeled fresh ginger

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

12 fresh curry leaves or 2 bay leaves (There is nothing like the flavor of curry leaves but they are unavailable for most people.)

2 serrano chilies, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Coarsely ground black pepper

1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed (I used regular onions)


1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 medium carrots, cut into ½ -inch dice

½ pound green beans, cut into ½-inch pieces

½ cup vegetable stock or broth

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

In a large saucepan, heat the canola oil. Add the ginger, garlic, curry leaves, chopped chilies, turmeric, 1½ teaspoons of black pepper and ½ cup of the pearl onions. Season with salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about eight (8) minutes. Add the potato cubes, diced carrots, green beans, vegetable stock and the remaining ½ cup of pearl onions and bring to a boil.

Add the coconut milk and simmer partially covered, until the vegetables are tender and the coconut milk is slightly reduced, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Discard the bay leaves, if using and serve with rice.

This is a wonderful use of butternut squash and a colorful dish to serve with your vegetable curry.


Butternut Squash Basmati Rice

4-5 servings

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 cup basmati rice

¾ pound peeled butternut squash, cut into ½-inch dice (2 cups)

2 cups water

2 teaspoons kosher salt

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and cook over high heat until the mustard seeds begin to pop, about 30 seconds. Add the rice and diced squash and stir to coat with the butter. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over very low heat until the squash is tender and the water is completely absorbed about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the rice stand covered for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve right away.

This meal was so good and healthy. It took a small amount of time to get together and was good for two meals. Give it a try!