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Vegan Indian Recipes - Vegetables / Curries
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Acorn Squash Wadas in Garlicky Peanut Oil
From: Shaula Evans

(from: Laxmi's Vegetarian Kitchen, published in 1995 by Harlow & Ratner, ISBN 0-9627345-9-4.)

Makes 18 dumplings (4-6 servings); Preparation time: 15 minutes Squash Dumplings:

  • 1 small acorn squash (10 oz)
  • 1 fresh hot green chile, stemmed and minced
  • 1/4 cup whole what flour
  • 2 tbsp chick pea flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • Garlicky Peanut Oil:
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for brushing the steamer
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (whole)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves cut into slivers
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
The "sauce" for these steamed dumplings is simply oil flavored with garlic and cilantro, a speciaty of Gujarat.
Other winter quashes--butternut, banana, buttercup, or spaghetti--may be substittuted for acorn squash.
Serve these dumplings as a side dish with pilaf and dal;; or float them in aromatic lentil soup; or fold them gently into fresh cilantro pilaf.
(If you would like any of those recipes, just let me know.)

1. Peel and seed the squash.
Grate and measure 1 1/2 cups of squash.
Combine with the remaining dumpling ingredients and mix well.

2. Brush a steamer basket with oil, or line a bamboo steamer with cheesecloth.
Bring at last 1 inch of water to boil in the steaming pot.
Place heaping tablespoonfuls of the squash mixture 1/2 inch apart in the steamer basket.
Place over the boiling water, cover, and steam until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 4 minutes.
(You may have to steam them in batches, depending on the size of your steamer; add more boiling water for the second batch if necessary.)
Ease out gently with a metal spatula and turn into a shallow serving dish.

3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
Add the mustard seeds; when the seeds begin to sizzle and splutter, stir in the garlic.
cook until the garlic is lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the cilantro.
Pur the seasoned oil over the dumplings, scraping the skillet with a rubber spatula.
Toss well to coat.
Serve immediately.

* Paul and I, as an experiment, are not eating any garlic or onions for a month.
(Ayurvedic medicine from India and classical Buddhism both beleive that garlic and onions are too potent to be eaten on a daily basis and will aggravate your temper; they should be reserved for medicinal purposes only).
So, I omitted the green chile and garlic, and the recipe still tasted fabulous!
* I used my Braun vegetable/rice steamer, and brushed it with grapeseed oil.
I used coconut oil for the seasoned oil.