Roasted kabocha squash with curried sauce is a delightful vegetable dish with the natural sweetness of roasted kabocha squash, rich coconut cream, spiciness from the Thai curry paste and warming turmeric.
Move on over meat! This delicious roasted kabocha squash with curried sauce and forbidden black rice dish is going to take center stage. The one thing that puts Roasted Kabocha Squash with Curried Sauce above and beyond other curries is that it is kind of fancy curry with a very traditional taste. This dish has deliciously sweet roasted kabocha squash with a drizzle of rich and creamy Thai curry sauce ladled on top. Blissful!
When it is damp outside, my whole body craves curry. It is like some obsession. I can’t stop thinking about it. Nothing will satiate this craving like a delicious bowl of roasted kabocha squash with curried sauce.
The first time I tried roasted pumpkin with curried sauce was blissful. In Thai, this dish is called Choochee Fak Thawg Yaang.
The secret to this recipe is the stirring of the coconut cream with water constantly until the water has evaporated back off and the coconut cream coats the back of a spoon and the coconut cream cracks. You have to work fast and keep moving your ladle in the wok to press the coconut cream up the sides of the wok and then turn over. You cannot be distracted for these 5 minutes.
Simmering your coconut “cream with your aromatic Thai curry spices forces the oils to come out and that is what they mean by “cracking” of the coconut cream. In addition, simmering the coconut cream also forces water to evaporate and makes a very rich and delicious curry. So why do you ask would you add water to the coconut cream and then try to reduce the coconut cream … Heck I don’t know, but the measurements makes for a perfectly delicious curry and I would not change a thing.
I know it may be difficult for some of you to obtain some of the ingredients needed for Thai dishes but don’t worry as I have some substitutes that work great and you can make a delicious Roasted Kabocha Squash with Curried Sauce no matter where you are in the world. I will also share with you the traditional Thai ingredients for those that have access to an Asian grocery store.
This traditional Thai curry paste is made with dried red chillies, salt, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime rind, coriander roots, black peppercorns, garlic, shallots and shrimp paste. You can exchange the galangal with ginger but that leaves you trying to find the rest of the ingredients. A Thai red curry paste that I have used before is Mae Ply Thai Curry Paste and it has all of the necessary ingredients. You can find Thai Chili paste in some Walmart stores in the Asian food section. (I am not receiving any compensation for these suggestions…just some possible solutions)
One ingredient that I added to this recipe is a little turmeric as I need the extra warmth and healing anti-inflammatory power to get me through this cool and damp week. I used a kabocha squash as that is the kind of sweet squash we have in Asia but a delicious butternut or acorn squash would be just as lovely.
I am always on clean eating diet but for the last 4 weeks I have put myself on a the candida diet. After three rounds of antibiotics my body is craving a detox and getting rid of all sugars, condiments, fruits, coffee and wine is not an easy feat. No wine!!!! Really!!! It has been a tough feat but now I am feeling fantastic.
As part of a special celebration for making it 4 weeks through this candida diet torture I made a modified Roasted kabocha squash with curried sauce and did not add any sugars or fish sauce. It is important to keep the balance of salty, sweet, spicy and sour in Thai dish so I added just a pinch of salt and the kabocha squash is sweet enough without adding any sugars. I have left the recipe in its original form but this recipe can also be made without fish sauce or sugar if need be.
If any of you are interested in learning more about the anti-candida diet, let me know and I can share with you some of my kitchen secrets for survival.
Roasted kabocha squash with curried sauce is delightful combination of the natural sweetness from the roasted kabocha squash and rich coconut milk and cream, spiciness from the Thai curry paste and the warming turmeric. Recipe adapted from the Oriental Thai Cooking School.
- Roasted Kabocha Squash
- coconut oil - 1 tablespoon (or other oil as desired)
- kabocha squash - 6 thick slices- seeds removed and skin removed- can exchange with butternut or acorn squash
- garlic salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Thai Red Curry Paste (or can purchase pre-made)
- dried red chillies - 1/4 cup (seeded, cut, soaked and drained)
- salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- lemongrass - 1 tablespoon (sliced)
- galangal - 1 tablespoon (sliced) - can exchange with ginger
- kaffir lime leaves - 1.5 teaspoons (sliced)
- coriander (cilantro) roots - 1 tablespoon (chopped)
- black peppercorns - 1/2 teaspoon (ground)
- garlic - 1 and 1/2 teaspoons (sliced)
- shallots - 1 tablespoon (sliced)
- shrimp paste - 1 teaspoon
- coconut cream - 1 and 1/4 cups
- water - 1/2 cup
- fish sauce - 4 tablespoons or to taste (if you cannot find fish sauce then add salt to taste)
- palm sugar or sugar alternative - 2 and 1/2 tablespoons (can use brown sugar or alternative of choice) - I did not add any at all
- coconut milk - 1/3 cup
- turmeric - 1 teaspoon (ground or grated fresh)
Step 1: Preheat oven to 190 degrees C (374 F). On a greased or parchment lined baking tray, lay out your 6 slices of kabocha squash and brush with coconut oil and sprinkle with garlic salt on both sides. Bake for about 20 minutes or just until fork tender. Do not overcook as you still want it to have some texture.
Step 2: If using pre-made Thai Chili paste from the store, skip to step 3. If making Thai Chili paste from scratch at home, add dried soaked and drained chili peppers, salt, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, coriander (cilantro) roots, black ground peppercorns, garlic, shallots and shrimp paste either in the mortar and pestle or in your food processor and grind until smooth. Set Aside. (This recipe makes a large portion of Thai chili paste so you can just save it in a plastic container and it can stay in your refrigerator for 2 weeks. You will only need a total of about 2 tablespoons of it or much less, if you do not like it too spicy)
Step 3: While your kabocha squash is in the oven baking, add your coconut cream and water to your wok and bring to a boil. Stir constantly until the water has evaporated back off and the coconut cream coats the back of a spoon. You have to work fast and keep moving your ladel in the wok to press the coconut cream up the sides of the wok and then turn over. You cannot be distracted for these 5 minutes. Add your Thai chili paste. If you like it really mild (like me) then just add a teaspoon at a time until you get it to right heat level- taste along the way. If you like it extra spicy, add 2 tablespoons. Keep stirring your wok until the coconut cream cracks. (Simmering your coconut "cream" with your aromatic Thai curry spices forces the oils to come out and that is what they mean by "cracking" of the coconut cream.)
Step 4: Add your fish sauce and palm sugar or sugar alternative of choice. Keep stirring your wok and add the coconut milk. Stir and bring to another boil. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. (Just as an FYI- there are also gluten-free fish sauces on the market)
Step 5: Arrange your roasted kabocha squash on a serving platter along with your forbidden black rice or Thai Jasmine white rice and pour the curry sauce over the kabocha squash. Garnish with red chillies and cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!