Monday, December 14, 2015

Kumro Bati Chorchori - Simple Stir-Fried Pumpkin/Butternut Squash

Kumro Bati Chorchori
Kumro (pumpkin) Bati (dish/one-dish) Chorchori (stir-fried curry) is a delectable Bengali preparation with pumpkin or butternut squash. In North America, the latter is far more readily available and makes a good substitute for pumpkin.
Types of Pumpkin
A cross-section of each type of pumpkin makes it recognizable in the supermarket. Butternut squash is a hard winter vegetable which I generally avoid because it is so difficult to peel and chop. 
Chopped Butternut Squash
Imagine my surprise and delight when I came across this 3 lb. bag of chopped butternut squash at our membership supermarket. It takes away all the intimidation presented by this hard vegetable and makes it more of a staple in my kitchen.
Frozen Cubes 
After heating and tempering the oil, these frozen cubes of butternut squash were taken straight from the freezer into the frying pan. Once they thawed, they cooked in a jiffy with minimal spices.
Stir-Fried Butternut Squash
The dish was ready in less than 20 minutes! Makes a colourful and lovely side dish, served with hot, steamed Basmati rice or any Indian bread.

1/2 (3 lb.) bag of frozen, chopped butternut squash
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. panch phoron (Bengali 5 spice)
5 shukno lonka (dried red chilies)
1 hot green chili, minced
1 tsp. ginger paste
1 tsp. Kashmiri mirch/paprika
1/4 tsp. turmeric
salt & sugar to taste
2 Tbsp. cilantro, minced

  1. Heat oil in a skillet, temper with dried chilies, panch phoron and green chilies.
  2. Add ginger paste, paprika and turmeric and stir-fry until oil resurfaces.
  3. Stir in frozen butternut squash, sprinkle with salt and cook until squash is soft.
  4. Adjust salt and sugar to taste and garnish with cilantro before serving.

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