Recipe: Curry-roasted squash and chickpeas

Mixed vegetables and beans. Don't worry if your squash cubes aren't really cubes; mine never are.
Mixed vegetables and beans. Don’t worry if your squash cubes aren’t really cubes; mine never are.

Due to our house dinner on Sunday, I didn’t have time to cook a big pot of stuff to eat during the week. I felt like giving soups/stews a break for a week, so we’re back to roasting! Also, my tandoori spice powder (which I’m using in place of curry powder here) has mostly been languishing behind the fennel seeds in my spice section since very early in the term, so I thought it was high time to give Indian-inspired flavors another go.

Tossed in spices and ready to roast.
Tossed in spices and ready to roast.

This recipe takes a while, but has an appealingly small amount of hands-on time, with the exception of chopping the butternut squash. The end result was…fine. Sorry, I feel weird posting about “okay” recipes, but this wasn’t knock-your-socks-off great, particularly given the extremely promising ingredients. My squash smelled sweet as I chopped it, the spices were the right mix of hot, earthy, and savory, chickpeas are usually excellent, and it all looked so good going into the oven, but when I put it in my mouth…eh, it was okay. I may not have roasted mine for long enough (I made the mistake of starting this at 7 pm), which might prevent the deeper flavors you often get from roasting from developing. Not enough Maillard reaction, in other words. I was also very sparing with the olive oil, which can’t have helped. I’m inclined to think that about 10 minutes more roasting time, a tiny bit more oil, and a bit of salt and lemon juice could take this from “eh” to awesome, so I’m putting it on the blog for my future reference (and/or to inspire others to try it and see it theirs is any better! Let me know in the comments).

Steaming hot out of the oven :)
Steaming hot out of the oven 🙂
Done and topped with cilantro-lemon-yogurt sauce!
Done and topped with cilantro-lemon-yogurt sauce!

Curry-Roasted Squash and Chickpeas

Adapted from: Food and Wine.

Yield: ~4 servings.

1 medium butternut squash
1 small onions
1 15-oz can cooked chickpeas
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
1 c plain yogurt
1/4 c finely chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Chop the butternut squash into approximately 1-inch cubes, saving seeds to roast later if you wish (personally, I think peeling is optional). Cut onions and peppers into wedges about 3/4-inch wide. Drain and rinse chickpeas.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with the chickpeas, olive oil, curry and cayenne and season with salt and pepper. Spread the squash cubes and chick peas on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for ~45 minutes, until squash is tender.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir the yogurt with the cilantro and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon yogurt sauce over vegetables.

Serving suggestion: goes well as a side dish to chicken (or turkey), or on its own as a light meal.

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