I bought this beautiful squash over a month ago at the Common Market in Frederick, MD, not knowing how delicious it would be. I was also simply enjoying looking at it because it is so beautiful. It is called a Kuri Squash and it dark orange and round like a pumpkin but a little pointier on top. Inside are large seeds which you can toast if you wish like pumpkin seeds.
Delicious Organics describes it this way:
“Also known as a Baby Hubbard, since it closely resembles the hubbard in shape. This (is) known as the Sweet Potato Squash with it’s orange to yellow colored flesh. It has a delicate flavor, some say akin to chestnuts, and is smooth and creamy. Nice in savory or sweet dishes. Also known as the Japanese Squash, Orange Hokkaid,o or Uchiki Kuri squash. Can be prepared like any other hard squash or try something new:
When I was thinking about how to prepare my Kuri squash, I decided to go sweet and spicy with cumin seeds, mustard seeds, garam masala, cinnamon and other wonderful spices. I had some chicken defrosted so I started imagining a chicken stew with orange chunks of sweet kuri squash. What came out ended up being a delight to my senses, I cannot help but share it here, especially since it’s the season of winter squashes. Here is my recipe:
Spiced Kuri Squash and Chicken Stew
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 tsp or 2 cloves of minced garlic
1″ of ginger root, grated
1/2 tsp dark mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala,
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2-3 dashes of cayenne
1.5 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes
1 Kuri squash
1 1/2 cups water or organic chicken broth
2 cups cooked basmati rice (optional)
- First, figure out how you want to cook the squash. You can either bake it in the oven at 350 F with a little water (about 45 minutes) or, I was short on time, so I steamed it over a steamer basket for about 20 minutes. Either way, cut the squash in half and spoon the seeds out. You can keep them to toast if you like.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onions until translucent and soft. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for a few more minutes. Stir occasionally to keep ginger and garlic from sticking.
- Add all of the spices and stir into the onion mixture. You may need to add a little water or oil to the mix to keep the spices from sticking too much. You can also turn down the heat. When you saute spices like this, the flavors come out more.
- Add the chicken to the mixture and saute until almost completely cooked, about 10 minutes or so. Add the water or broth and cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked. It should look like a thick soup or stew. Add more or less water or stock depending on your taste.
- Meanwhile, keep an eye on your squash. for some reason, one of my halves was finished before the other. Take out the halves and place them on a plate to cool down. When they are cool to touch, cut them in half again and then gently peel the skin off with a knife. It should come off pretty easily. Try to keep them in whole pieces while you are peeling. Once peeled, cut into 1″ cubes. Add to the chicken stew and gently stir in.
I didn’t end up making rice, but this dish would be great over basmati or any kind of rice, or even quinoa for that matter. It turned out spicer than I expected with only a couple dashes of cayenne, and the garam masala, cinnamon and squash made this dish sweet and savory. It was delicious and couldn’t help but share. I plan to include it in one of the upcoming menu planners along with many other yummy meals!
Enjoy, and please tell me about your dish if you end up making the recipe!