Remember when I told you a couple of months ago that I had booked a trip to Rome? (For those of you who suffer from early Alzheimer’s or just have a really short-term memory: read it again here)
Well, it’s all happening tomorrow morning. Finally. My suitcase is packed (I’ve left some room for “new acquisitions”)and my stomach is empty (I’ve left some room for the delicious Roman food).
I’m so nervous and excited I think I’m about to explode!
Here is a short summary of all the things I want to do/ will probably end up doing:
Sightseeing (duh, I’m in Rome!)
Eating gelato (duh, I’m in Rome!)
Dancing with handsome Italian strangers (duh, I’m in Rome!)
Making indecent proposals (du… I’m sure you get it by now!)
Of course that means you will have to miss me for a couple of days…
I know, I’m so sorry.
But please don’t let my absence get you down! You will survive!
Still worried? Here’s a little something that will cheer you up and bring comfort in times of sorrow: A garam massala roasted butternut squash stuffed with spicy, velvety dal! This dish doesn’t just look really cool, it’s also the ultimate me-time-deserving form of deliciousness! And you know what’s so special about the dal? It was made with pumpkin soup! Yes, you’ve read that correctly, pumpkin soup! Tell me something: what’ s the best thing about a dal? The velvety texture. What’s the best thing about pumpkin soup? The velvety texture. So putting these things together creates the most mouth-wateringly, mind-blowingly extravagant array of velvetiness!
You’re welcome 😉
• One butternut squash (cut off the bottom part, since this will make the “bowl” for the dal. Peel it and hollow it out. Use the remaining top part of the butternut for the soup, see below)
• 65gr yellow lentils
• 1 tsp garam massala
• ¼ tsp mustard seeds
• ¼ tsp fenugreek
• ½ tsp cumin seeds
• 2cm piece fresh ginger, grated
• 1 clove of garlic, grated
• 1 large chilli pepper, finely chopped
• 1 tsp turmeric
For the butternut soup (I’ve made an incredibly spicy and fragrant soup from the remaining butternut squash and used some of the soup as the base for my dal and the rest can be kept in the fridge and eaten some other time 😉 )
• 1 large onion, roughly chopped
• ½ red pepper, roughly chopped
• 1 tbsp turmeric
• ½ tsp chilli powder
• 1 tbsp garam massala
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• 1l vegetable stock
1. Make the soup. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pot and sautee the onion with the spices. Add the chopped butternut squash and red pepper.
2. Add the vegetable stock to the pan and bring to the boil.
3. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the butternut squash is tender.
4. Mix everything together until you get a smooth slightly thick and velvety texture. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Rub the bottom part of the butternut with the garam massala and some oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for about 20-30 minutes until the butternut is cooked through and soft.
6. Add a tablespoon of oil in sauce pan and add the spices. Fry until the spices become fragrant. Stir in the garlic and chilli.
7. Add the lentils and 200ml of the butternut soup. Bring to the boil and let is simmer on a low heat for 30-40 minutes. Add a bit more soup (or a splash of water) along the way if necessary.
8. Spoon the dal inside the butternut bowl and top with freshly chopped spring onion and nigella seeds.