Tired of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves? This butternut squash pudding has all the custardy appeal of pumpkin pie filling, but flavored with cardamom and paired with a spicy coconut curry sauce, it takes on a savory Indian flavor profile with just a touch of sweetness.
Yield: Serves 6
Cook time: 2 1/2 hours
For the pudding:
1 medium butternut squash
1 tbsp oil or melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp black pepper
For the curry sauce:
1 small onion, diced
1 one-inch piece of ginger, peeled and diced
1 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can coconut milk (about 12 oz)
3 tbsp curry powder (or see seed list below to make your own)
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
To make curry powder:
1 tbsp each of coriander, cardamom and cumin seeds
1 tsp each of whole cloves and black peppercorns
1 two-inch cinnamon stick
Preheat oven to 350˚and line a jellyroll pan with foil. Using a strong, sharp knife, cut the stem portion off of the squash and cut in half lengthwise. Remove pulp and seeds (optionally, reserve seeds to roast as well).
Place squash halves cut-side up on pan and brush liberally with oil or butter. Roast until flesh is soft enough to scoop, about an hour. Keep oven at 350˚ after removing to cool.
Scoop roasted squash away from the skin and into a blender or food processor. Puree until very smooth. Pour in buttermilk and eggs, then brown sugar and spices and mix well.
Distribute pudding mixture into 6 greased custard cups and place each inside a glass baking dish. Fill the dish with enough water to cover cups halfway; about an inch. Bake until centers are set and a toothpick comes out clean, a little over an hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the curry sauce. If making your own curry powder, toast seeds in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove to a mortar or spice grinder and grind until fine.
Saute onion, ginger, coconut and garlic over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium, pour in coconut milk and heat through. Add curry powder and stir to dissolve completely.
Add chopped tomatoes, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To serve, run a knife carefully around the edges of a custard cup. Place a plate face-down over top and, holding them together with both hands, flip over. Lift custard cup and gently shake to remove pudding in one piece.
Ladle a generous spoonful of curry sauce over pudding and top with a pinch of flaked coconut.
Originally published for PK4 Media.