Sweet and Sour Winter Squash

This recipe makes use of the spice asafoetida and is adapted from a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey. Measure out all your ingredients before you start cooking to make sure you're ready to cook. You can use any hard winter squash in this recipe: Hubbard, kabocha, delicata—whatever's in your market basket! Omit or increase the cayenne pepper, depending on the heat tolerance of your diners.

Makes 4 servings.

3 tablespoons olive oil

generous pinch ground asafoetida (pictured on right)

½ teaspoon mustard seeds (use brown or yellow seeds)

4 cups of 1-inch cubed, peeled squash (It's hard with squash - so many shapes and sizes! A 2 pound squash should give you enough for this recipe.) 

¼ cup water

¾-1 teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoon brown sugar

⅛-¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon plain yogurt

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Heat the oil in a heavy 10-inch skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the asafoetida and mustard. As soon as the seeds start to pop carefully add the squash cubes.

Fry the squash for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until just browned. Add the water, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the squash is tender (this time will vary depending on the type of squash and size of cubes) you're using, .

Add the salt, sugar, cayenne pepper and yogurt. Stir until well combined and cook, uncovered, over a medium heat, until warm. Garnish with cilantro.