Saturday, January 28, 2012

Kabocha Squash Curry with Lentils and Spinach

I am craving for more Kabocha squash, but today I am feeling lazy to do any heavy duty cooking. It's mostly about Trader Joe's today. I'm doing a quick cook using most of the ingredients purchased from Trader Joe's. Kabocha squash is a Japanese pumpkin. This squash is cross between a sweet potato and a pumpkin. The skin is edible so you don't have to peel it. Kabocha squash is rich in beta carotene with iron, Vitamin C and potassium. Trader Joe's does not carry Kabocha squash. You can purchase Kabocha squash from an Asian market. A few supermarkets do carry this squash, but it is more affordable purchased from an Asian market. 

One 3-1/4- to 4-1/4-pound (purchased weight) Kabocha squash
Two 15-ounce jars Trader Joe's brand Curry Simmer Sauce
2 cups water (16 ounces)
One 17.6-ounce package Trader Joe's brand Steamed Lentils
One 10-ounce package Trader Joe's Organic Lacinato Kale OR 1 bunch lacinato kale, tough stems removed, washed well and spin-dried, then sliced into thick strips (about 6.2 ounces) OR One 12-ounce package Trader Joe's Baby Spinach
3/4 cup Kitchen Thai brand coconut milk (6 ounces)
One 10.5 package Trader Joe's Indian Fare Punjab Choley
1 teaspoon salt
Cilantro for garnish

Scrub the Kabocha squash well under running water and dry with a paper towel. Cut squash in half and discard the seeds and membranes. Cut the Kabocha squash into 1-1/4-inch-size chunks. You will now have approximately 2:14.6 to 3:8.6 pounds of squash. Set aside.

In a 6-quart stock pot, combine the curry simmer sauce and water. When sauce comes to a boil, add the Kabocha squash and lentils. When mixture returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gradually reduce heat from medium to medium-low heat if mixture is bubbling profusely. Add the kale or spinach and continue to cook, covered, for additional 3 minutes (5 minutes for kale), stirring occasionally. Stir in the coconut milk, Punjab Choley and salt. Continue to cook for another 2 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Mixture will thicken more as it cools. Garnish with some fresh cilantro and serve with brown rice.

Yields 8 to 10 servings