Do you celebrate Diwali every year? In my area we have people from all over the world and they do celebrate different holidays. If you have never hear of Diwali it's known as Deepavali and the festival of lights. For the occasion people clean their homes and decorate them. They like to dress up in new clothes and they light up lamps and candles. Of course there is food and they like to exchange gifts. They celebrate Diwali for up to five days. The last day of the holiday is special because brothers visit their sisters who cook for them. It's my dream to visit India and hopefully I will be able to attend this special holiday.
For Diwali last week I made a lentil stew that I served in acorn squash. It's easy to cook acorn squash and it's a great way to sneak in vegetables. It also looks beautiful on a table when you serve this dish. For the stew I decided to use Patak's Curry Paste and Vindaloo Paste to add spiciness. I have to say that with a touch of Greek yogurt on top this stew is really filling and delicious.
If you have never cooked acorn squash don't be afraid to try. You need to cut the squash in half using a sharp knife. Then clean out the seeds with a spoon. Place them, face down. on a baking sheet lined with foil. Add water to slightly cover the sides of the squash. Bake at 350F for 40 to 50 minutes, depending of the size of the squash. While it's baking prepare you lentil stew. You could cook the squash the day before serving, just reheat before eating.
8 on lean ground beef
10 ml olive oil
1 tbsp Patak's mild curry paste
2 tbsp Patak's Vindaloo paste
1 small onion, diced
1 carrots, grated
1/2 jalapeno, diced
4 garlic, minced
salt to taste
1/4 cup cilantro
1 cup brown lentils
4 cups chicken broth
15 ounces diced tomatoes
1 cup coconut milk
Greek yogurt, to serve
Cilantro, to serve
1- If you wish to serve the lentil stew in Acorn Squash you need to bake according to the directions in this post. Buy as many squash as you need for your guests. This lentil stew will serve at least 10 persons.
2- In a large pan heat the olive oil. Add the ground beef and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the curry and vindaloo paste. Cook for 2 more minutes. Add salt to taste, onion, carrots, jalapeño. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
3- Add the chicken broth, lentils, tomatoes, cilantro. Bring to a boil and cook 45 minutes on low heat.
4- Add the coconut milk and cook for another 3 minutes.
5- Serve in Acorn Squash, if you wish, top with greek yogurt and cilantro. Enjoy!