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suvir/panditji's kaddu recipe


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suvir and others,

i never reported on my adventures with this recipe (from the home-cooking thread)--re-posting it below. i've made it twice now, the first time with a squash from the farmer's market in boulder that more closely resembled the indian kaddu and the second time with butternut squash. i am happy to report that in both cases the result was phenomenal and i would urge everyone who hasn't yet tried it to do so. suvir, please convey my thanks to panditji and keep a portion for yourself for acting as the conduit.

here's my comments/slight variations on the recipe:

*butternut squash cubes hold their shape far more readily than the mystery farmer's mkt. squash, so those who are experimenting with other squashes/pumpkins would do well to cook not by time but by feel. if you actually cook certain squashes for 25 minutes you won't need to mash any pieces, they'll completely disintegrate. then again this may be a matter of textural preference. i like more mash, my wife prefers a more solid texture.

*in my second sortie i upped the spiciness quotient a little by doubling the green chillies (i use thai chillies) red chilly powder. i personally like the spicy kick with the sweetness of the squash--i also didn't add as much of the amchur, preferring the spicy/sweet with a hint of sour balance to the sour-sweet combination. again a matter of personal taste.

*i also added a touch more hing--the earthy aroma of hing really goes well with the sweetness of squash but i can see how this is a dangerous game to play--there is such a thing as too much hing.

we ate this alongside an improvised dish of potatoes and green-beans, bengali style mushoor dal with liberal squeezes of lime and hot phulkas. we were happy.

while i like my slight variation i would recommend people start with the original: it is a bullet-proof recipe (the only complicated part is the cutting of the squash) and you should taste its splendor before you tinker with it.

more home-cooking recipes please!


here's the original as posted by suvir:


Kaddu Kee Sabzi

Serves 4 to 6

In my grandmother’s home in Delhi, visitors would arrive begging to eat Panditjis preparation of this very simple and humble vegetable. His recipe, reproduced here, was fabled to be deliciously addictive; you will find out. Kaddu is the Hindi word for the oblong shaped, Indian pumpkin. In America, I use butternut squash instead: it comes close enough in flavor and makes it unnecessary to go hunting for the real thing in Asian markets. The end result is a dish that is authentic in taste and just as beautifully orange. Try it with a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

2- to 2 1/4- pound butternut squash

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 fresh, hot green chili, chopped

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon asafetida

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons dried mango powder (amchur)

1. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Peel it with a vegetable peeler or a paring knife and scrape out the seeds. Cut the two halves lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick strips. Then cut the strips crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces.

2. Heat the oil in a large wok, kadai or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

3. Add the fresh chili, the fenugreek, cayenne and asafetida and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.

4. Add the squash and stir to coat with the oil. Stir in the salt and sugar. Turn the heat down to medium. Cover and cook until the squash is tender, about 25 minutes. Uncover and stir the squash every 5 minutes and check on the cooking; if the spices begin to burn, turn the heat down. If the squash doesn’t brown at all, turn the heat up slightly.

5. Stir in the dried mango powder. Mash the squash with a spoon to break up some of the pieces. Taste for salt and serve hot.

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Mongo thanks for posting your pointers after cooking the recipe. How kind you are.:smile:

One must tinker with recipes I believe. Nothing wrong with it at all. Cookbook writers and recipe writers ought never to worry about that. If one were not having home chefs or professionals tinker with a chefs recipe, most chefs would worry that the recipe provided left little if any impression. I am thrilled to see you have made it twice.. and that you have added to it your own nuances. Amazing!

Panditji would be thrilled that oceans and lands away, someone has prepared his version of simple Kaddu... and has thanked him in doing so. I shall remember to let him know.

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even if i hadn't fallen in love with this recipe, my wife (who is korean) would have ensured that it entered the regular rotation. as it is, i plan to make this at least every other week. quite apart from everything else, squash is really good for your health.

by the way, speaking of my wife, can i recommend that people try eating kim-chi alongside regular indian home food? it goes really well with mushoor dal and rice, among other things.

Edited by mongo_jones (log)
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by the way, speaking of my wife, can i recommend that people try eating kim-chi alongside regular indian home food? it goes really well with mushoor dal and rice, among other things.

Would your wife share a recipe or two for Kimchi that goes with Indian food?:smile:

Do you make it at home or buy store made Kimchi?

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by the way, speaking of my wife, can i recommend that people try eating kim-chi alongside regular indian home food? it goes really well with mushoor dal and rice, among other things.

I spent a substantial part of my recent trip home to Madras doing just this! I love kimchi, and Korean food in general (much better suited to Indian palates than Chinese food) and somewhat improbably Madras is a good place to get it, thanks to the presence of a gigantic Hyundai factory and other Korean businesses. There are several restaurants in Madras catering mostly to Koreans - and the rare locals like me who might stray in -so the quality is good.

In fact I'd go out on a limb and say that one meal I ate at a restaurant called Arirang was the best Korean food I've eaten which in my experience mostly covers places in India and Hong Kong. Where do they get such fantastic beef from - the bulgogi was incredibly savoury and tender. I had to pack most of it up, since the friends I was eating with were strict vegetarians (what they were doing in a Korean restaurant is a good question), and was eating it for days later.

The good part of eating with them though was that we got double the number of free starters - veg for them, non-veg for me, so the table was so full of small plates that I was wondering whether we needed to proceed to main courses at all! Also one of these friends was my source for kimchi. She makes a living teaching Korean housewives English, so it was wasy to get her to ask her students to pack some kimchi for me.

The only problem was that while I was expecting a small bag, the lady was so enthusiastic she gave me a huge boxfull. It was wonderful, but smelled so pungent that no one else in the house would eat it. Vijayan, who is our equivalent of Suvir's panditji, didn't approve either and expressed his disapproval by very pointedly placing the big box full of kimchi next to my plate at each meal. So I pretty much had to eat it with whatever we were eating!

My verdict: you can eat it, but it doesn't go brilliantly, at least not with the sort of simple sambhar-sabhji sort of food normally cooked in my parents' house. Partly its because that pungent fermented taste is decidedly not an Indian one, and clashes too much with coconut or Indian spice mixtures. Partly too its texture - that slightly squeaky consistency of freshly made kimchi is not common in Indian vegetable preparations. We eat our veggies well cooked so they are generally soft, or maybe more solid as with sprouts and pulses, but not squeaky like kimchi. In the end I mostly just ate the kimchi separately with plain boiled rice and spring onions, which could be almost a Korean way of eating it, right?


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mongo jones

the Kadoo reciepe sounds very good.

Try adding some saunf ( fennel seeds) and kalaunji ( black onion seeds) for a little variation in texture, flavor and appearance. And sometimes try tamarind as a souring agent in this reciepe instead of the mango powder.

The the seeds saute in hot oil at the start until they give out their aroma.

Bombay Curry Company

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Mongo, this is a topic close to my heart . . .

Vikram, you are right that kimchi's sharp, fermented taste is sometimes jarring next to Indian spice mixtures. Might I suggest sauteing it for a while, which tends to tone down the sharpness a bit? This is a indeed a traditional Korean way of eating kimchee that has gone a bit sour, usually with a bit of meat and roasted sesame oil as well, though neither is absolutely necessary. Another alternative would be to incorporate kimchi into a kind of rasam, in which the sourness could substitute for other, more traditional souring agents. I have to admit I have never tried this, though.

One important issue is that many kimchis contain small to major amounts of salted small fish or shrimp. This rules them out for veg-only folks. Those of you who belong to this category should be careful to ask your waiters / waitresses if they have purely vegetarian kimchee. Since there are an increasing number of vegetarians in Korea, they very well may be able to oblige. I have a vegetarian Tamilian-Mumbaiker friend who is married to a Korean, and he always has to ask first before partaking of any dish that looks vegetarian. Of course, if any of you are of Bangla origin, the idea of flavoring vegetables with bits of fish won't be that foreign!

I could create a whole topic about the fusion of Indian and Korean food.

My wife and I are both of Korean background and we are often in Seoul. Indian restaurants used to be few and clustered in the foreigner's quarters in Itaewon around the U.S. military installation. I once went to a restaurant there called "Moghul" and ordered a mattar panir, only to be given a spicy tofu dish! Of course, "curry" was everywhere, but it was the Japanized version, not the "real thing". Things have improved quite a bit recently, especially in the upscale neighborhoods south of the Han River, where there apparently are a number of decent Indian places now. There

Sun-Ki Chai

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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on kim chi and indian food: my wife has no trouble eating kim chi with everything since that is what she does--kim chi is eaten with everything, end of story. that being said, she is not a fan of freshly made kim chi (and since my tastes in korean food are mediated by hers, and hers in indian by mine, i follow her in this). she prefers kim chi that has sat and fermented for a while--this both removes that squeaky texture and also softens the edge a little. also, i'm not just talking about cabbage kim chi but also radish kim chi, which doesn't (texturally) feel very different to me than many north indian home-made achars.

i can see, vikram, how kim chi might not go well with sambhar or coconut chutney, but believe me it matches beautifully with bengali food, as do many other korean panchan (the little side-dishes): in particular, cold sauteed spinach stalks, sauteed bean-sprouts with sesame and my personal favorite, sauteed dried anchovies. my wife is an excellent cook, by the way--so many of our meals are indo-korean hybrids.

and no, we don't make kim chi at home--the process is too arduous. back in l.a we used to either get it by the gallonful from her aunts and mother (she and her family are all first-generation immigrants) or buy it in koreatown stores. you can't actually get kim chi in boulder, but in aurora (40 minutes away) komart sells the same brand we used to buy in l.a for about a dollar more.

and yes, her definition of a curry before she met me was very different.

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