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Spaghetti Squash with Indian Spices

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Serves four to six.

  • To learn more, read:
    Squash Season
  • by Ivy Manning from Fine Cooking
    Issue 95

Toasted spices and a touch of chile perk up the flavor of this mild squash.

  • 1 small (3 lb.) spaghetti squash
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard seeds
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup seeded and chopped tomato
  • 1 small serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a sturdy spoon. Set the squash halves cut side down on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet, and bake until strands of flesh separate easily when raked with a fork, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Taste a few strands—they should be tender. If not, continue to bake. Set the squash halves aside until cool enough to handle. Use a fork to rake the cooked squash flesh into strands.

In a 10-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the mustard seeds and cover. The seeds will start popping; cook until the popping subsides, about 1 minute. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium, and add the butter. As soon as it melts, add the onion, ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, and coriander and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato, chile, and 1 tsp. salt and cook, stirring, until the tomato begins to soften and the chile is fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium high and add the squash to the skillet. Continue to cook, tossing with tongs, until heated through, 1 to 3 minutes. Toss in the cilantro, season to taste with more salt, and serve.

Make Ahead Tips

You can bake the squash in advance and then finish the dish right before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 140; Fat (g): 9; Fat Calories (kcal): 80; Saturated Fat (g): 4; Protein (g): 2; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Carbohydrates (g): 15; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): 230; Cholesterol (mg): 15; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I made this last night for a dinner party for 12 and everyone loved it. The heat from the pepper is a nice surprise. Also, because it can be made ahead and reheated it is the perfect party dish.

This is our go to recipe for spagetti squash every time. When I have mentioned trying another recipe, I get descent and rebellion! If you are not a squash lover this will transform your thoughts and desires. The combination of flavors create a wonderful indian-like dish that is scrumptious, delectable and ambrosial.

Really good; great combo of flavors. I've got kids so we kept the chili out but works great. They helped by scraping out the squash.

That was amazing! I cooked the squash in advance so it came together really quickly. Definitely dinner party worthy. I think I will even replace my traditional squash at Thanksgiving with this one!

Come on....this recipe is only half way there. The idea is great except the mustard seeds are typical of the gujarat region. They are added popped in hot oil at the end for simple vegetable dishes - leave them out. Then spice it up a bit. Ground coriander, cumin and cardamom. Then add some sweetness like raisins. Then don't fry your garlic/chilly/Ginger with your onions - the garlic burns and goes bitter. Add them when the onion is softened. Then top it with some crisp fried sliced onion in the typical Indian way. Then wow! Chow down! I chopped up some snow peas, blanched them and threw the popped mustard seeds on top of that instead since I was too lazy to put them back in my spice box.

I couldn't stop eating this spaghetti squash, it was delicious! It was fun to cook and the aromas were delightful.

Fantastic! Very easy to make, so much can be done ahead of time, and the result is aboslutely wonderful - as good or better than anything I have had in Indian restaurants.

Very simple. Very good. I cooked the squash in the microwave the night before to save time.

This is wonderful! My first time cooking Spaghetti Squash. Had to improvise as I didn't have all the ingredients on hand (used fire roasted canned tomatoes, etc), but it was wonderful and filling. A REAL keeper - fast, easy and delicious!

Very good! Mine was nowhere near the color in the picture - even after I'd roasted the squash before I'd added anything, it was pretty yellow. But the spices added a lot to the dish. Even my husband, who is not a squash-lover, polished off his and half of mine without so much as a "you gonna eat that?". We'll definitely have this one again.

This was great -- did the squash the night before, tossed with a little oil, covered and refrigerated. -- could have done more ahead and will next time. Brought to a potluck and everyone loved it. One suggestion was to add shrimp or crab...

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