Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Curried Kabocha Dip

My favorite winter produce, by far, is squash. They last forever on your counter so you don't have to worry about spoilage, and they are incredibly healthy for you. My secret weapon in the kitchen these last few months has been the kabocha squash.

The kabocha, also known as a Japanese pumpkin, is big, green, heavy, and delicious. It has a dense texture, much better than the slightly watery butternut squash, and is just as sweet. My kids love it, including my 8 month-old daughter, who slurps it up as fast as I can spoon it in!

I had roasted a kabocha the night before and had scraped out the insides and packed it up in the fridge. I also had people coming over for dinner and hadn't thought out an appetizer. Necessity is the mother of invention, so here is what I concocted. Not too shabby for a spur-of-the-moment dish! I served this dip with Triscuits, because I love them like no other, but my husband ate it with carrot sticks and that was pretty good too. Try it, you might like it!

Curried Kabocha Dip

  • 1 kabocha squash
  • 2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds, or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  1. Cut squash in half, scrape out seeds, and rub the insides of the squash with olive or vegetable oil. Place squash halves cut-side down on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about an hour. The flesh should be very soft and the shells starting to collapse. Let cool for half an hour, then scrape from the shell. Put half the flesh away, and reserve the other half in a bowl.
  2. While squash is roasting, put the cumin seeds in a pan over medium heat and toast for a few minutes until brown and fragrant. Remove from heat and grind in a food processor or mortar and pestle.
  3. In a food processor or large bowl, mix together squash, cumin, and remaining ingredients until smooth and creamy. Serve warm or cold with crackers, chips, or veggies.

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