Butternut Squash Pulusu

I always try to incorporate all kinds of veggies into our diet. In Seattle during winter, squashes are in abundance. Butternut squash is a winter squash which tastes sweet and nutty just like a pumpkin. Pulusu is a sour stew like curry which can be eaten with rice.

A pulusu is a very important ( not to mention delicious) accompaniment in Andhra cuisine. This particular pulusu is tangy and hot but at the same time a little sweet because of butternut squash and a little added jaggery. This pulusu is usually made with a pumpkin but I mixed up a little and made with a butternut squash. If a butternut squash is not available to you, you can always use a pumpkin.

What is a butternut Squash?

Butternut squash is a winter squash which tastes sweet and nutty just like a pumpkin. This squash is extremely versatile and can be used in many different things. I use it to make curries, soups, stews and even muffins. Its delicious and wholesome. The flesh of butternut squash is orange in color just like a pumpkin or a carrot. And just like a carrot, it is also rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C, Beta-carotene, Magnesium and Potassium.

How do we use it?

A butternut squash can be used to make both savory and sweet dishes. It has a long shelf life of two to three months. I buy and just forget about it sometimes. It stays intact but ripens a little. After a month or so I remember and when I cut it, the flesh has a beautiful, bright orange color and awesome sweetness just like in the pic, I so love it. You can use a simple peeler to peel it and a spoon to take out the seeds. Be very careful when cutting it as the skin is really hard. I usually cut the top and bottom and then use a large knife and a mallet to knock the knife into my squash. When the squash is cut in half, its easier to peel and seed.

 

Let’s look at the recipe now.. Here’s what you need:

 

Prep Time20 min
Cooking Time30 min
CuisineSouth Indian
Servings4-5
Recipe by Tahemeem

Ingredients:

  1. 1 tablespoon oil
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  3. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  4. 1 dry red chilli
  5. a few curry leaves
  6. 1 onion roughly chopped
  7. 2 cloves garlic minced
  8. 5 green chillies
  9. 1/2 butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
  10. Salt to taste
  11. 1 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder or to taste
  12. 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  13. 1 tablespoon jaggery or brown sugar
  14. 1 large lemon sized tamarind, soaked in water
  15. 1 tablespoon rice flour(optional)
  16. Coriander/Cilantro for garnish

Stove-top Procedure:

  • In a large pot, add oil and when its hot add mustard seeds. Wait till the mustard seeds splutter and add cumin seeds and dried red chilli.
  • Add curry leaves, green chillies and onion and fry it till the onion turns transparent. Add garlic and sauté it for couple of minutes.
  • When the onion turns transparent, add butternut squash pieces and a cup of water. Cover and cook till the squash is soft.
  • Squeeze the pulp from tamarind and keep it aside.
  • Once the squash is cooked, add the tamarind pulp, salt, jaggery, chilli powder, coriander powder, two cups of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Mix the rice flour in a little water and make a slurry. Add this slurry to the boiling pulusu and you can see the pulusu thickening. This is an optional step. I don’t do it as I like my pulusu a little thin like rasam.
  • Once the pulusu thickens up(as per the consistency you like), adjust the seasoning, finish it up with cilantro and serve it hot with rice and some papad on side.

Instant Pot Procedure:

This recipe is very easy to make in an Instant pot. Everything goes in and its done in 30 min from start to finish. I have a 3 quart Instant pot which is my best handy dandy magic tool in the kitchen. You can get a cute 3 quart instant pot here. This is a basic 7-in-1 instant pot but there are several versions like this 10-in-1 instant pot which has some fancy features like yogurt maker, cake maker, egg cooker, etc.

  • Turn on the sauté mode and in the instant pot insert, add oil and when its hot add mustard seeds. Wait till the mustard seeds splutter and add cumin seeds and dried red chilli.
  • Add curry leaves, green chillies and onion and fry it till the onion turns transparent. Add garlic and sauté it for couple of minutes.
  • Squeeze the pulp from tamarind and keep it aside.
  • When the onion turns transparent, add butternut squash pieces and saute for couple more minutes.
  • Add the tamarind pulp, salt, jaggery, chilli powder, coriander powder, two cups of water and close the lid. Set Manual/Pressure cook for 5 minutes on sealing mode.
  • Mix the rice flour in a little water and make a slurry.
  • After the pressure is released, open the instant pot lid and add the rice and water slurry to the pulusu. Turn on the Sauté mode and you can see the pulusu thickening. This is an optional step.
  • Once the pulusu thickens up(as per the consistency you like), adjust the seasoning, add coriander leaves and serve it hot with rice and some papad on side.

Please leave a comment when you try this recipe. I would love to hear from you.

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