This delicious Roasted Butternut Tikka Masala has roots in North America, where the Native Americans cultivated butternut squash, and in India, the original home of curry and garam masala. However, you slice it, this is one hearty dish that goes well on a frigid winter night.
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 ½ tsp. Garam Masala Spice Blend
½ tsp. Pink or Kosher salt
1 Can chickpeas, drained (or sub 1 lb. boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces)
Tikka Masala Sauce Ingredients:
¼ C. sliced ginger
¼ C. garlic (10 cloves)
2–4 fresh serrano chilies- cut in half lengthwise (or sub a jalapeno)
4 Tbs. ghee or olive oil
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1 tsp. garam masala (see below)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. paprika
8 Roma tomatoes- rough chopped (sauce will be blended)
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 ½ C water
1 Tbs. dried fenugreek leaves (optional but AMAZING)
¾ C. plain, full-fat yogurt (or 3/4 cup of canned coconut milk, or ½ Cup Heavy Cream)
¼ C. chopped cilantro for garnish
Serve with wild, basmati rice or naan bread
Preheat oven to 400F. In a medium bowl, toss butternut with 2 T oil, garam masala, and pink or kosher salt until evenly coated. Spread out on a parchment-lined sheet pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
(If adding chicken, place cut-up chicken into the same bowl. Drizzle with 1-2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon pink or kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon garam masala, and toss to coat. Place on another baking sheet or baking dish and bake for 25 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Broil for a minute or two to get a deeper color.
While the butternut is roasting, make the Tikka Masala sauce: Place sliced ginger, garlic, and chiles in a food processor to make a paste. Pulse until very finely chopped. Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven. Sauté the paste over medium heat until nicely browned for 6-8 minutes, often stirring, scraping up brown bits with a metal spatula. Cook until golden. Add tomato paste, and sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until color deepens. Add spices and cook for 2 more minutes.
Add tomatoes, pink or kosher salt, pepper, water, and optional fenugreek leaves. Bring to a simmer, lower heat, and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
Blend the Tikka Masala Sauce in batches using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), cover the blender with a kitchen towel, and firmly hold the lid down. Return the blended sauce to the pot). Whisk in the yogurt (or coconut milk or cashew cream, or heavy cream). This sauce could be made ahead and reheated!
Add the roasted butternut squash and chickpeas (or roasted chicken) and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust salt.
Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over wild or basmati rice, or with naan bread with a side of raita!