Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato in Coconut Milk

I can feel the energy. Everyone at work is excited about the Halloween festivities this year and preparing for the big day this Friday to dress up and bring his/her own special dish to share with the troop. I’m usually not one to celebrate Halloween, but this year there’s going to be a huge pot-luck and I am definitely psyched up to eat and share food with everyone, and in a costume, of course. I have a few ideas in mind of what to make and bring. Just stay tuned…

For now, keeping the Halloween theme, I’d like to share with you a wonderful recipe of a velvety stew that is somewhat different and exotic. It’s made of pumpkin, sweet potato and coconut milk. The sweet potato and pumpkin bring a pleasant sweetness to this traditional vietnamese Buddhist vegetarian meal, called Canh Bi Ro Ham Dua. The coconut milk gives it a creamy taste that certainly sets this dish apart from western stews that we’re more familiar with here in North America.

It’s hearty and savory. The hardest part is to cut through that d-mn pumpkin! Other than that, it’s quite easy and quick to make.

Clockwise from top left:
Small squash or pumpkin
Sweet potato and zucchini
Dried Chinese mushrooms
Good quality coconut milk

Preparation: 20 minutes, Cooking time: 15 minutes

Recipe “au pif”:
2 cups squash or pumpkin, peeled and cubed
1 cup sweet potato, peeled and cubed
½ cup dried Chinese mushrooms
thinly sliced, soaked in water until soft (regular mushrooms can also be used)
½ cup unsalted peanuts
2 cups good quality coconut milk
1 green zucchini, thinly sliced
1 good pinch coarse sea salt
½ cup fresh chopped coriander, to garnish

In large saucepan, stir in squash/pumpkin, sweet potato, mushrooms and peanuts in ½ the amount of the coconut milk. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are just getting tender. Try not to overcook them or they'll be too mushy.

Stir in 1/2 of the remaining coconut milk and stir in the zucchini slices. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the salt and stir for about 30 seconds.

Turn off heat.

Serve hot with fresh coriander, pour in the remaining amount of the coconut milk as a last touch, and savour
. Can also be served with steamed jasmine or basmati rice.

Serves 6 people.

Oh – and what would Halloween be without a black cat?

Negrita, our beloved cat who just passed away two days ago.


Sortin'ItAllOut said...

This looks like something I would enjoy, and I think I actually have all the ingredients right now!
Thank-you for a great blog!

M B said...

Sounds really good... I made recently soup with coconut milk as well, I made also my own coconut milk ;)

QlinArt said...

Thank you Sortin'All Out and MB.

BTW, MB, I am curious how you make your own coconut milk. ;)

Kevin said...

That looks tasty. I like the pumpkin and coconut combo.