OK. Back to the dish at hand.
I love eating ethnic foods, but I especially liked to eat them during my pregnancy (when I could tolerate food) and now while breast feeding (we're still going strong at 14 months) so that baby gets exposed to the different flavors and ingredients. If you are pregnant, watch the heat especially if you are experiencing any reflux; this might make it worse. Also, if you eat this while nursing pay attention to how baby responds to your milk afterwards. If baby wasn't exposed to some of these spices during pregnancy then he/she might have a harder time tolerating them in your breast milk.
My favorite thing about this recipe is that it includes the super spice turmeric. If it isn't in your spice rack it needs to be! It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and has numerous health benefits including cancer prevention, relief for rheumatoid arthritis, effective treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, improved liver function, protection against diseases like Alzheimer's and cardiovascular disease, and more. I'm just scratching the surface. If that list doesn't make you want to race to the grocery store right now then I don't know what would!
This recipe definitely reminds me of Indian Masala with the tomato-based curry. I doubled the sauce because both my hubby and I felt like it needed more of that yummy goodness when served over rice to keep it from getting too dry (bonus: more to sop up with a piece of naan). If you like your curry with less sauce then feel free to halve the curry ingredients (keep the Earth Balance/Olive oil quantity as is).
(adapted from recipe in Wall Street Journal)
1/4 cup Earth Balance or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (more if you like a little more kick)
1/4 cup raw coconut nectar (or brown sugar)
1 cup tomato puree
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 215 oz cans)
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
Basmati or brown rice for serving
1/2 cup Greek-style (or nondairy) yogurt (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2) Set a saucepan over medium-low heat and add olive oil or Earth Balance (if using Earth Balance wait until it melts before adding spices). Stir in turmeric, cumin, cloves, salt, cayenne and coconut nectar and cook 1 minute (or until you begin to smell flavors).
3) Stir in tomato puree and squash and mix to coat well. Transfer to a large casserole dish. Bake until squash browns and can be easily pierced with a fork (roughly 25 minutes).
4) Add in chickpeas and stir to mix. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
5) Place spoonful of Basmati or brown rice in bottom of each serving bowl. Spoon curry mixture over top. Garnish with scallions, salt + pepper (dollop of yogurt optional).