Thursday, 24 September 2009

Roasted butternut squash with spiced chickpeas

I have made this dish a number of times now, and it is one of my autumnal after work favourite dishes. In the past I have substituted the butternut squash with sweet potatoes, or used the two together which have worked just as well. The dish also includes my own red hot chillies.
Chillies are reputed to aid digestion, cure asthma even, and are even rich in Vitamin C. Apparently chillies have aphrodisiac properties too! The chilli pepper comes from a pod like berry of various species of capsicum found in Latin America. As you may already be aware, chillies were discovered by Columbus accidentally - it has since become an essential store cupboard ingredient in many kitchens all over the world.
Although Britain has so many 'Indian' take aways and restaurants, many ironically with the word 'Chillies' in its title, as a nation of 'curry' lovers, however, we Brits are still reluctant to experiment with the chilli. Whereas, in places like India or Mexico, for instance it is eaten daily and added to virtually everything. Apparently in Mexico there are more than 2,000 varieties to choose from. The most familiar of these are jalapenos, seranos, and habaneras. When preparing chillies, handle them with care and avoid touching the eyes. Otherwise, you know what will happen - that burning sensation in the mouth maybe sensational, but not anywhere else on the body.

I am submitting this dish to Lakshmi Venkatesh over at Kitchen Chronicles who is hosting this month's edition of Think Spice - Think Red Chillies, which is a blog event set up by Sunita over at Sunita's World.

As this dish of roasted butternut squash is quite sweet, yes even with the spices and chillies, it is still sweet. I serve it alongside a contrasting flavour such as this lemon griddled broccoli. I just steam the broccoli till tender, then put on a hot griddle pan to char a little. Then simply drizzle with lemon juice and some seasoning which includes a gentle sprinkling of chilli flakes too.
If you have any of this left over, and chances are you probably won’t but just in case. Add the remains to couscous and you have some lunch for tomorrow.

Roasted butternut squash with spiced chickpeas
Serves 4
1 small butternut squash
2 – 4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 spring onions, sliced diagonally including the green parts
2 fresh red chillies, sliced
200g of cooked chickpeas
200ml vegetable stock or water
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons of minced coriander
Peel the squash, slice in half and scoop out the seeds. Chop the flesh into bite sized pieces. Put them into and large oven proof dish and toss them in 2 tablespoons of oil. Roast at gas mark 5 for about 10 -15 minutes or until tender. Then add 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds to the dish and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Then add the stock or water, salt and minced coriander along with the remaining oil and give it a good stir so to combine. Return to the oven for about 8 minutes so the stock and chickpeas are warmed through. Then serve along with the juices. Adapted from Denis Cotters Cafe Paradiso Seasons.


  1. I misjudged quantities using dried red chillis once and have never really ventured back into using them much in cooking. I don't have a very high heat tolerance when it comes to chilli's so often shy away from recipes that use them. perhaps sweeter dishes like yours temper the heat a bit more?

  2. What a fantastic recipe and I love the photo! I am eating a ton of roasted acorn squah and pumpkin. I roast it with just with a little olive oil and salt/pepper. Yum.

  3. This is a lovely sounding simple dish to recreate, I have loads of differing types of winter squashes ripening on the vine so I look forward to trying it during the winter months, will probably ease up on the chillies though because of the little ones.

  4. Oh Nic,
    Please do give chillies another try, there are so many varieites, and they are not all hot, some are sweet!

    Thanks Michele,
    I have a load of baby pumpkins still to use, every day they turn a little golder.

    Hi Kella,
    Yeah, do go easy on the chillies. Let me know

  5. That looks so yummy! I love cooking with chillies. You are making me learn to convert measurments! Where I live, everything is by cup, lol. Making me work hard for these recipes! But I love all your recipes so it is worth it to me to learn!

  6. Thanks Jenn.
    Funny about conversions. I have a lot of American books which are obviously in cups, so when I make American influences cakes, muffins or sweet dishes, I tend to use cups, and other times grams. I work between the two, but I think that is part of a modern cook???

  7. I totally agree! A modern cook must always adapt and continue to learn! Thats how we grow and become Fabulous cooks!

  8. I could write an ode on chilies, with an epilogue on butternut squash. I love your simple, fresh, creative uses of vegetables, beans and legumes, Mango. You rock the allotment!

  9. Thanks Jenn.

    Thank you!
    I look forward to your ode to chillies in the near future.

  10. Oooh lovely, another yummy recipe for me to try, when my chillis are finally ripe. There are tons on the plant but they're all still green so far.
    I have so-far-successful butternuts this year too - keeping my fingers crossed as I've done this before and lost them all at the last moment. We'll see what happens.

  11. Hi Scarlett,
    It is a lovely recipe. I've made it every year for the past four years.
    I hope those green chillies hurry up and turn red for you! And I will keep my little fingers and toes crossed for your butternut squashes too.

  12. Such a great way to enjoy butternut squash! I discoved this veggie only last winter and I am looking forward to try different recipe with it.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe :)

  13. Thank you so much for coming by Karine.
    I hope you enjoy your first taste of butternut squash.

  14. This is my kind of food! I could eat this all my life, wonderful, chickpeas and squash mhmhmh

  15. Thank you so much Andrea. I am so pleased you like this, its one of my favourite dishes.
    Also, I wanted to say Thank you so much for choosing to become a follower, it is very kind of you.


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