If you’ve been following me for even a short time, it’s probably no secret that I have a dear, dear love.
A melt in your mouth, sweet, starchy, orange love.
Although I’m a fan of all members of the pumpkin, gourd or tater family (#gimmeallthecarbs), there is one that undoubtably shines far above the rest.
Japanese Pumpkin. Sweet Mama. Whatever you like to call it. They all lead you to the same thing.
Kabocha has a sweeter taste than most other squash. Its texture is ridiculously smooth, moist, and almost fluffy… like a pumpkin and a sweet potato combined.
Its sturdy consistency makes it perfect for putting into soups or stews. Of course, I most often eat mine simply on its own… roasted or steamed… a little salt… quite possibly drizzled with peanut butter. But adding it to your cooking works like magic to thicken up the broth and make the entire dish extra, extra creamy.
Possibly my favorite part is that the skin is completely edible. None of this standing and peeling or scraping out like you would with the butternut or spaghetti variety. Simply cut, chop and cook. A busy girl’s guide to edible magic.
I have not just one, but TWO recipes to share with you today! Both making use of this wonderful vegetable. Wait no…. it not a vegetable. Fruit? No. Berry!? …of the family “Cucurbitaceae!” Phew.
Both recipes are super easy, super fast, SUPER comforting and everything you want during these colder, busy months.
My usual lentil chili was taken up a notch when I decided to add kabocha, thanks to this girls’ inspiration. She’s the real master here.
I know there are a gazillion chili recipes out there to choose from, and the thing that is so great about the dish is that you really can alter it however much you’d like. Substitute veggies, add or eliminate spices – its one pot full of endless possibilities. That being said, I’ve done my fair share of chili experimenting and I like to think my addition of pineapple or V8 juice, sweet chili sauce, cinnamon and now the kabocha are what make THIS chili super unique.
I hope you give it a try to keep yourself warm this winter!
The next recipe I have for you is a curry. This one is even made in the slow cooker so is even higher on the easy scale. Heck, while everything is doing its own thing in the slow cooker, you’d have more than enough time to cook up the chili at the same time!! Multitasking batman!
I’ve made many curries that use tomatoes as a base, but I really wanted to have one with the traditional yellow hugh like I had when traveling in Asia. And I wanted it to be creaammmmmy. None of this watery stuff. Something to give a bed of rice a run for its money, ya know?
Between the cooking of the kabocha and the soaking of the raisins, this curry did just that. Thick, yet light. Full of spice, yet sweet. I’m not a spicy person, so instead of going for hot-spicy I went the sweeter route. But if you have more daring tastebuds, I’d support adding a little cayenne or red pepper flakes.
If you cannot find kabocha near you (oh the travesties!) you can definitely substitute another pumpkin, sweet potato or butternut squash in either of these recipes. But just until you do find a kabocha. And then make them both again….