Slow Cooker Indian Spiced Butternut Squash

Here I am with my 307th post (or so it feels) featuring butternut squash. This is adapted from one of my favorite new cookbooks, Anupy Singla’s The Indian Slow Cooker. The flavors are so authentic, it’s deceptively easy and keeps well, too. It only takes about four hours in the slow cooker and honestly the worst part about this is chopping up the squash, a task which once sent me to the emergency room for stitches!

Despite their ease and convenience, slow cooker meals aren’t always the tastiest. (Surprise! You can’t just dump a bunch of stuff into a pot, turn it on and expect greatness.) This recipe is an absolute exception: It’s restaurant-quality delicious, like everything else I’ve made from this book thus far.

I had a hard time finding the methi (fenugreek seeds) and after ordering an absurd amount from Amazon.com I found it at my local organic market. (In case you were feeling duped by this ingredient, check there or just omit it altogether.)

Enjoy the aromas as this cooks and get ready for some serious cold-weather comfort food!

P.S. Is it spring yet? Yeesh!

Slow Cooker Indian Spiced Butternut Squash

2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
2 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 black cardamom pods (I only had green, but whatever!)
1 ~2-inch cinnamon stick
1  yellow or red onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
~4 lbs. butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
3-4 green Thai, serrano or cayenne chilis, chopped or sliced lengthwise
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp salt
1 tsp red chile powder
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the fenugreek, cumin, cardamom and cinnamon stick. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until it’s sizzling. Add the onion and cook for another minute or so, just until it browns slightly. Add to slow cooker and turn it on high. Then add the tomato, turmeric and coriander and stir well.

After a few minutes, add the squash and mix well. Allow to cook for a few more minutes with the lid off, then turn it down to low and cook for 4 hours, stirring a few times as you go.

After 4 hours, add the green chiles, brown sugar, garam masala, salt, red chile powder and lemon juice, stirring well. Garnish with cilantro and serve with roti, naan, or if you’re me, basmati rice.

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