Winter Squash and Wild Mushroom Curry
Image courtesy of the The New York Times.
Winter squash are plentiful at the Market these days, splendid in their many shapes and sizes and colors. Alas, there are no wild mushrooms at the market, but the freshness, flavor, textures, and colors of the cultivated mushrooms are a delight. This curry by David Tanis for The New York Times, adapted from a Madhur Jaffrey recipe, strikes me as an appropriate dish to make either as a single-dish dinner or as a side dish for Thanksgiving.
Shallots and garlic are among the ingredients, and these, too, are plentiful in the market. Roasted green chiles are also available, and I substituted some for jalapenos or serranos specified by Tanis.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 10 ounces butternut or other winter squash, peeled and diced in 1/2-inch cubes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 or 2 small whole green chiles, such as jalapeño or serrano
- 3 medium shallots or 1 small onion, finely diced
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- Handful of fresh or frozen curry leaves, optional
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Pinch of cayenne
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 pound mushrooms, preferably a mix of cultivated and wild, trimmed and sliced 1/8-inch thick
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
- In a wide skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add squash cubes in one layer. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, letting cubes brown slightly, then flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to lift squash out, and set aside.
- Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile to open it, but leave whole. (This allows the heat and flavor of the chile to release into the sauce without making it too spicy.)
- Add shallots to skillet, salt lightly and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves and let sizzle for 30 seconds, then add garlic, coriander, cayenne, turmeric and chiles. Stir well and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Add mushrooms to pan, season with salt and toss to coat. Continue to cook, stirring, until mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Return squash cubes to pan, stir in coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium and simmer for another 5 minutes. If mixture looks dry, thin with a little water. Taste and season with salt.
- Just before serving, stir in lime juice. Transfer to a warm serving dish and garnish with cilantro leaves.
This locally inspired recipe is brought to you by Pam Walker. Pam is an avid home cook, writer, and local farm and food activist who is also a board member of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute. Thank you, Pam, for helping inspire us to use locally sourced ingredients!