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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Stir Fried Sphagetti Squash/ Sphagetti Squash Upma

This is a recipe that I made up trying to think of different ways to use sphagetti squash. Now, this squash is called sphagetti squash because when it is cooked, the squash can be separated into sphagetti type strands. It is a great substitute for sphagetti and tastes great with marinara sauce (see recipe).   I had a lot of cooked sphagetti squash left over and was wondering what other recipes could I use it in. I was inspired by "vermicelli upma" which is vermicelli noodles with Indian seasoning and decided to try something similar with the sphagetti squash. The result was awesome. I also tried serving it as a vegetable side with rotis and it tasted great.

1 sphagetti squash, cooked and separated into strands
1 onion, diced (optional)
1 tbsp oil
1/8 tsp mustard seeds
1/8 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp urad dal
5-6 curry leaves
a pinch of asafoetida/hing
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp peanuts (optional)
salt to taste

Heat the oil and add the mustard and cumin seeds. As the mustard seed crackles, add the hing, urad dal and let the urad dal turn a light brown. Then add the curry leaves. Next add the peanuts and stir fry for a minute. Then add the onions if you are using them. Cook the onions till transparent and lightly browned. Then add the turmeric, mix and then add the sphagetti squash. Mix thoroughly so that the squash is covered with the seasoning and salt. Though the squash is cooked, let it cook with the seasoning so that it gets a nice flavor. You can even let a little of the squash touching the base of the pan brown. It gives it a nice caramelized flavor. Serve hot. You can serve it as a side with chapati/roti. It also tastes great on its own as a main dish and can be eaten as a snack as well.

The baked method of cooking the sphagetti squash makes for nice dry squash, however it is a lenghty method. An alternate way is to pressure cook it.  Add a little water to your pressure cooker (enough so that the cooker will function properly), then put the halved, cleaned squash skin side down so that the skin is in the water and the rest of it is above it.  Then pressure cook it. In this method, the squash may get a bit watery, however it is fast and if you are going to cook it further in an open pan (like in the recipe above), then the squash will dry out as it cooks.
You can skip the onions and just add the squash directly into the seasoning. This preparation also tastes great.


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