Roasted Squash with Rice and Lime Pickle

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Roasted Sqaush with Rice and Lime Pickle and Indian Spices

Though I enjoy the quiet of winter, in Canada there are not many local seasonal vegetables to be had. However, I try to eat with the seasons nonetheless, and winter squash is one of those vegetables that is seasonal in both autumn and winter months. And there are multiple varieties to keep things interesting. Since I hadn't made a squash dish for a while, and was looking for a vegetable dish to complement the other dishes I had on the menu, I decided to make this dish which features not only squash but also rice. The inspiration for this recipe came from Meera Sodha's Fresh India, which includes over 100 unique, straightforward and interesting recipes based on traditional Indian recipes.

The lime pickle in this recipe is what makes this dish especially unique. I have always enjoyed Indian pickles on the side, just on their own, so this recipe was especially intriguing to me. Salty, sour and very hot, they are not for faint palates. But if you enjoy them, then you will love this squash and rice dish. Because there is only a relatively small amount, the lime pickle is not overpowering, and you can always add more or less as you please. I have yet to make my own Indian pickles at home, so on those rare occasions when I order food from an Indian restaurant, I usually order some to have on hand, and you can buy good quality jarred versions at Indian and Asian grocery stores, and even larger supermarkets. But if you don't wish to include the lime pickle, then add some fresh lime juice at the end of the cooking time instead, and the dish will still have plenty of flavor and heat. For extra heat in addition to the lime pickle, I added a combination of ground spices and seeds. As with any of my recipes, they are a template to inspire, so adjust the ingredients to suit your fancy.

Roasted Sqaush with Rice and Lime Pickle

And while winter squashes — like the butternut squash I used in this recipe — are one of the most daunting of vegetables to try to peel, there's actually no need. The skins of many winter squashes including acorn and delicata are both tender and edible when cooked — not peeling the squash means both that your dinner will be so much easier to prepare and that you won't be wasting any of the vegetable's nutrition to the compost or garbage.

On the menu with:
Paneer Rajma
Lemon Chia Seed Cornmeal Bread

Roasted Squash with Rice and Lime PickleRoasted Squash with Rice and Lime Pickle
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on February 3, 2020

Warm, nourishing and filling roasted squash and rice seasoned with spices, seeds and Indian lime pickle

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 55 to 60 minutes

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  • 1 large butternut squash (about 2 lbs or 900 g)
  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji)
  • 1 small bunch green onions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lime pickle, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Line a large baking sheet with foil and preheat an oven to 425°F.

  • Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and then slice into 1 1/2 inch thick semicircles. Cut the semicircles into large bite-sized pieces and transfer to the baking sheet. Drizzle with a few teaspoons of olive oil and toss to coat the pieces of squash. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and roast for 40 to 45 minutes or until the squash is fork tender and begins to brown.

  • While the squash is roasting, rinse the rice and soak for 20 minutes or longer. Drain, rinse again, and let air dry in a strainer for 10 minutes, tossing the grains occasionally. Transfer to a small saucepan, cover with 1 3/4 cup water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed — about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, let sit for 5 minutes, and then fluff with a fork.

  • In a large frying pan, wok, or heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, toss in the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and nigella seeds. Cook until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop, roughly 1 minute. Now reduce the heat to medium, add the green onion, and sauté for a few minutes to soften. Stir in the lime pickle and spices, and fry for another minute.

  • Now add the roasted squash, turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook, stirring often, for another 5 minutes or until warmed throughout. Stir in the rice, and cook for another few minutes.

  • Remove from heat, season with salt and black pepper, and serve hot.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Roasted Sqaush with Rice and Lime Pickle

Other squash recipes to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Indian-Style Roasted Squash Curry
South Indian Squash Poriyal
Creamy Peanut Butter Chickpea & Squash Curry
Roasted Butternut Squash and Herbed Cannellini and Artichokes with Fennel and Parsley Salad

Audio accompaniment: Henning Fuchs – The Unknown – Album: A New Beginning

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