This is another of my favorite Afghan dishes. Served with challaw (Afghan spiced rice) and topped with garlic mint yogurt sauce, this sweet-savory dish is easy and stupid-delicious. If sugar pie pumpkins are available, they make a great alternative to butternut squash. Eat often and love life!
Prep time: 2 cocktails
6 TBSP butter or oil, divided
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-2-inch cubes
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 TBSP tomato paste
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
3 TBSP white sugar
2 cups vegetable stock
1 batch Challaw
½ batch Afghani Garlic Mint Yogurt
Melt half the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the butternut squash cubes and sauté about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it becomes a browned—but not burned—on the outsides. Remove from heat and set aside.
Melt the other half of the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté another 1 minute. Now stir in the tomato paste, turmeric, coriander, sugar, veggie stock and bring to a boil.
Once everything reaches a boil, add the squash and reduce to a simmer and let cook down, uncovered, until the squash is tender, but not mushy—about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, but be careful not to mash the squash. If all the liquid cooks off before the squash is done, add a bit more stock or water to prevent the squash from burning.
Serve over warm challaw and top with a good portion of yogurt sauce. You can garnish with minced fresh parsley, cilantro, or mint, if available.