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Edited on 12/14/2020 to add more information about the dish and streamline the content
Roasted butternut squash spiked with Indian Spices. Pan roasting brings out a lot of flavors from the butternut squash. Add to that lovely greens - spinach for example, and you have a lovely side dish.
Do you agree with me when I say that language of food is love? It is my belief that even if you cook something extremely simple with lots of love and good wishes, it turns out this super delicious meal.
At home, we love simple dishes for our day to day meal. The recipe for pan roasted butternut squash with baby spinach fits the criteria perfectly. Simply pan roast the butternut squash with a wee bit of oil and perk it up with the use of some garam masala. Toss some baby spinach into the mix and you have a nutritious accompaniment in a few minutes.
What are the ingredients to make pan-roasted butternut squash with spinach?
Full recipe + measurements + video can be found in the recipe card below.
- Butternut Squash
- Cayenne Pepper
- Baby spinach
- Garam masala
- Lemon juice
What are the utensils needed to make pan-roasted butternut squash with spinach?
- Large skillet
- Cooking spoon or Spatula
- Measuring cups and spoons. (This is optional,, if you can eyeball the ingredients)
A quick note about garam masala
Garam masala is a blend of Indian spices and is aromatic and is used extensively in Indian cuisine. I found an interesting article about garam masala along with a recipe for making it at home on npr.org. Though "garam" means hot in Hindi, it does not translate to a spicy blend of flavors. It merely means that the spices used in the blend increase body temperature. Using a little garam masala at the end of the cooking adds an exotic aroma to the dish as well as enhances the flavor quite a bit.
A quick note about Cayenne pepper
I also use Cayenne Pepper powder to add a little heat to the dish. If you are satisfied by the heat garam masala imparts to the dish, use Paprika or any Indian red chili powder to suit your taste. This will give a pleasant red hue to the dish. I love the heat because it counterbalances the sweetness of the butternut squash and makes it flavorful. This is entirely optional and depends on how spicy you want your food.
Step by step instructions to make pan-roasted butternut squash with spinach
- Wash, peel and dice butternut squash. You could also use the pre cut ones available in the grocery stores. If they are too big for your taste, dice them smaller or use as such.
- Wash and roughly chop the baby spinach
- Heat oil in a large skillet. I prefer a non0stick skillet for this recipe, to avoid food sticking to the skillet.
- Add the butternut squash pieces to the skillet. Keep them in one layer and try not to overcrowd the pan. Cook on medium heat till cooks and starts to brown. Only thing to keep in mind with roasting the butternut squash is to find a temperature at which the squash pieces cook perfectly and the outside browns beautifully. Too high heat will leave browned pieces which are not cooked properly.
- Add the salt and cayenne pepper (if using) and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes. Adjust the cooking time until you get the desired browning and the pieces are tender and cooked through. Adjust the heat accordingly.
- Toss in the chopped baby spinach and mix. Cook until the spinach is wilted.
- Add the garam masala and mix gently to coat the pieces.
- Remove from heat and serve hot. Drizzle with lemon juice if you prefer.
More sides for you to enjoy
- Try the chatpata and masaledaar Indian spiced smashed potatoes.
- Meatless Mondays got better - try the creamy cauliflower curry with Indian spices .
- Simple yet tasty turmeric sweet corn stir fry.
- 1 CUP = 250 ML. (US cups are typically 240 ml. You can use US cups with no significant change to the dish)
- Grams to cups measurements – we strive to provide these conversions as accurately as possible. There might be some slight variations depending on the brand, weighing scale, etc.
- Serving size - as a side dish, this should be enough for 3-4 people. Always adjust the serving size to suit your dietary needs.
- Instead of Cayenne pepper, you can add Kashmiri red chilli powder or Sweet paprika powder, or any other red chilli powder. Or skip it altogether for a milder version.
- 1 (about 1.5- 2 lb) Medium-sized Butternut Squash
- 1 tbsp Oil (plus extra if required)
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (adjust to taste)
- 3 cups Baby spinach (loosely packed, roughly chopped)
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
- Salt to taste
- Lemon juice (optional)
- Large Skillet and spatula
- Measuring cups and spoons (optional if you can eyeball the measurements)
- Wash and peel the butternut squash. Dice into ½ inch pieces. Try to keep the sizes more or less uniform to guarantee uniform cooking.
- Wash and roughly chop baby spinach.
- Keep your spices ready.
- Heat oil in the skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the diced squash pieces to the oil and toss around to coat all the pieces with oil. Try to keep the squash pieces in a single layer in the skillet.
- Cook on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Stir a couple of times to ensure uniform heating.
- Add Cayenne pepper and salt and mix well.
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 10-15 minutes or till the squash pieces are cooked and are tender(if required, drizzle a little oil).The pieces will also have caramelized and will have browned on the outside.
- Toss in the chopped spinach and mix well. The heat will wilt the spinach.
- Now it is time to add the garam masala and mix well. Adjust the seasonings to suit your taste and remove from heat.
- Sprinkle with lemon juice if you like a little tangy taste.
- Serve hot.
1. Uniformly diced squash pieces will ensure uniform cooking and even browning.
2. Instead of Cayenne pepper, you can use paprika for milder spice level or any Indian Red Chili powder.
3. Make sure the heat is not too high to brown the squash pieces without cooking them from inside.
4. I like it with a slightly tangy flavor, so I drizzle a little lemon juice while serving.
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