This is a quick stir fry that’s packed with flavor, thanks to fresh and dried chilies, lots of onions, and ginger. Have everything ready to go and make the beans when you’re ready to serve them.
A Bharta is a roasted vegetable mash traditionally made with eggplant (baingan bharta). We thought of using butternut squash in the fall and winter seasons because that vegetable is so popular and prevalent in the States. This makes a terrific Thanksgiving side dish— in fact, we introduced this dish on the Thanksgiving menu at Rasika. The tenderness of butternut squash can vary, so start checking your roasting time at the 20-minute mark. That may be enough time for the cubes to soften. Or it may take up to 30 minutes. The same holds true for the cooking time in Step 4, when you want the finished squash to be dry rather than loose. Some squash have more moisture in them than others, so this step could perhaps take an extra minute or two.
This Indian relish is delicious with just about all red meats, fish, chicken and vegetables. It is relatively easy to make and will keep for a couple of months in a clean container in the fridge.
Sweet-scented Pilaf: Masala Pulao
Lacto-vegetarian (vegan if you use oil); gluten-free
If the test of a great dish is that you taste something new and delicious with each mouthful, then this northern Indian masterpiece is in the first ranks. It’s special occasion food there and it should be for us too.
Inspired by a recipe from Moghul Microwave: Cooking Indian Food the Modern Way by Julie Sahni, in hot weather this rice begs to be served at room temperature. It is a foil for the rest of the menu, excellent with the cantaloupe, the raita, and the ribs.