Gunpowder Delicata Squash is an easy and quick recipe. Just smear milagai podi (a.k.a Gunpowder in Tamil/Telugu) over ghee roasted Delicata squash and devour!
What is Delicata Squash
Autumn not only marks the onset of the festive season across the globe, but also fills markets with a colorful variety of vegetables, especially those from the squash family. One such specialty squash that caught my attention last season was Delicata Squash. This winter squash is a native of North America and is also popularly known as peanut squash or sweet potato squash. Unlike its counterparts that usually have a hard outer skin, the Delicata has tender skin which makes it edible.
Simply roast it with salt and oil, and you get the perfect side dish. The twist, however, is the use of the popular south Indian Idli-Dosa Milagai Podi and ghee, or just Mexican chili oils. Now that we have the secret ingredients, let’s get to roasting…
What you will need to make Gunpowder Delicata Squash
Note: 1 cup = 235 ml
- 1 whole delicata squash, washed and sliced lengthwise
- 1 Tbsp. ghee
- A pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp. idli-dosa milagai podi
- 1 Tbsp Mexican chili oil with flakes (Jalapeño, Habanero or Ghost)
- 12 inch pre-seasoned cast iron pan / baking tray
- Brush to apply ghee (optional)
A note on key ingredients
Delicata squash is a seasonal vegetable available in North American local markets during fall. It is therefore a delicacy to be enjoyed while the season lasts. So go ahead and grab one when it’s harvested
Gunpowder (Milagai Podi) is a traditional southindian condiment blend that can be easily made at home. (Check my recipe for homeground Milagai Podi)
How to prepare Gunpowder Delicata Squash – An Overview
Simply cut the Delicata squash lengthwise, drizzle some homemade ghee/olive oil and roast. Then smear with choice of condiments and serve!
Tips before you begin
Picking a young and tender squash is a game changer. Make sure it has the stem on top. This will prevent the squash from drying out. Once harvested, squashes succumb to decay or lose much of the starch and turn stringy. The best squashes arrive early on in the season and are consumed by Thanksgiving!
How to make Gunpowder Delicata Squash – Instructions with step-by-step images
Step 1 – Preheat oven at 350° F
Cut & Drizzle
Step 2 – Wash, cut, deseed and slice Delicata squash into long slices lengthwise. Arrange the squash slices on a pre-seasoned cast iron pan. Using a brush, coat the squash slices with 1 Tbsp. ghee
Step 3 – Sprinkle a pinch of salt at this stage for helping the vegetable to cook in its own moisture. Remember that the gunpowder also has salt in it so don’t add too much at this stage. You can adjust the taste to your liking later at the table
Step 4 – Bake in the oven at 350° F for 10 minutes, until well done. Insert a fork or table knife and check if you are able to pierce or cut without applying much pressure
If you like you can also bake the squash seeds on the side! Just sprinkle a bit of salt over them and spread them over another tray, pop it next to the cast iron pan / baking tray with the squash in the oven
Smear & Serve
Step 5 – Bring it to the table and smear it with 1 Tbsp. idli-dosa milagai podi or drizzle 1 Tbsp. Mexican chilli oil of your choice along with the flakes
Step 6 – Enjoy your sublime roasted Gunpowder Delicata Squash 😋
How I learnt about this recipe
Squash is one of the most versatile vegetables that’s available throughout the year. I grew up having them in recipes like sambar, kootu, stew, and the occasional pachadi (jam). As you can see it’s mostly part of the main course. When I moved to North America, I also started relishing it in the form of soups (Butternut Squash soup is one of our family favorites). But last fall, I had the opportunity to try squash in a different form at a restaurant here in Calgary, Calcutta Cricket Club. As I was browsing through the appetizer section in the menu, I saw something familiar – good old milagai podi. This close to heart condiment made me go for it and I loved it. Ever since, this dish has made its way to our brunch table through autumn. When these winter beauties flood the local farmer’s market, it’s difficult to walk away without adding a couple to my basket. Once they are roasted, you can add a choice of spice drizzle, including shaved jaggery or maple syrup similar to steam cooked sweet potatoes glazed with ghee and served with jaggery shavings. On a particular weekend brunch, when I was preparing this my husband wanted to try it with Mexican chilli oils and that turned out to be a hit with my family as well. So don’t be afraid to play with your choice of spice. Just remember one thing though – serve these hot or warm for a sublime experience😋
Recipe Card – Gunpowder Delicata SquashCourse: AppetizerCuisine: Indo-AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Gunpowder delicata squash is an easy and quick recipe – simply smear milagai podi over ghee roasted delicata squash and devour!!!
What You Will Need
1 whole delicata squash, washed and sliced lengthwise
1 Tbsp. ghee
A pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. idli-dosa milagai podi
1 Tbsp Mexican chili oil with flakes (Jalapeño, Habanero or Ghost)
12 inch pre-seasoned cast iron pan / baking tray
Brush to apply ghee (optional)
- Preheat oven at 350° F
- Wash, cut, deseed and slice Delicata squash into long slices lengthwise. Arrange the squash slices on a pre-seasoned cast iron pan. Using a brush, coat the squash slices with 1 Tbsp. ghee
- Sprinkle a pinch of salt at this stage for helping the vegetable to cook in its own moisture. Remember that the gunpowder also has salt in it so don’t add too much at this stage. You can adjust the taste to your liking later at the table
- Bake in the oven at 350° F for 10 minutes, until well done. Insert a fork or table knife and check if you are able to pierce or cut without applying much pressure
- Bring it to the table and smear it with 1 Tbsp. idli-dosa milagai podi or drizzle 1 Tbsp. Mexican chilli oil of your choice along with the flakes
- Enjoy your sublime roasted Gunpowder Delicata Squash 😋
- When Delicata squash is not in season, try this recipe with sweet potatoes, I promise you won’t be disappointed
4 servings per container
- Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 2g 10%
- Sodium 76mg 4%
- Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
- Total Carbohydrate
- Sugars 1g
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Delicata Squash is available across North America in local farmers markets and grocery stores during fall
Delicata squash can be cooked on a flat pan over stove top, oven or air fryer
Cooking time varies with the method of cooking. It will take around 10-15 minutes until it is fork tender
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