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This recipe is reminiscent of chana masala, a savory dish of stewed chickpeas with spices and tomatoes. For a fall version, butternut squash has been added, pre-cooked by roasting pieces in the oven with spices. These roasted squash pieces are great on their own, but make a hearty side to a meal or part of a collection of smaller dishes to serve.

 

Roasting winter squash of any variety I feel is the best way to bring out its flavor. The process of roasting increases the sweetness; caramelizing the sugars.

 

If you have a chance to try other unusual varieties of winter squash, or grow them yourself, the flavors not commonly tasted are intriguing. Some squash have flavors of hazelnuts, some perfect for pies and other for soup.  No need to stick to the standards. A few squash type I will be keeping my eyes out for is the “Black Futsu squash,” “Rouge vif d’etampes pumpkin,” and “Galeux D’Eysines squash,” all spectacular and delicious in flavor.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash & Chickpea Recipe

 

3 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cut into ¾” pieces

2 Tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon ground sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

½ small red onion, diced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 Tablespoons olive oil

 

15 ounces diced tomatoes

15 ounces chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon crushed coriander seeds

¼ teaspoon crushed red chilies

 

2 lemons [juice one & wedge the other]

8 ounces plain yogurt

Cilantro [plenty for garnishing]

 

Preheat oven to 350°F

preparing the squash:

1. Toss squash with allspice, pepper, salt and olive oil.

2. Roast in a single layer for 25-30 minutes or until tender.

 

preparing the final dish:

1. Sauté onions in oil over medium heat until translucent.

2. Add garlic and cook for a minute, but do not brown.

3. Add diced tomatoes, turmeric, chilies and coriander and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Add chickpeas and simmer for a few minutes more.

5. Adjust seasonings to taste and add the juice of one lemon, approximately 3 tablespoons.

6. Gently fold in roasted squash.

7. Serve hot with cilantro and lemon wedges with yogurt.

Serves 6-8.

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