Goan Butternut Squash Cafreal Recipe

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Fresh India 130 Quick, Easy and Delicious Vegetarian Recipes for Every DayCafreal is an enchanting Goan Portuguese dish traditionally made by cooking chicken in a tangy marinade of fresh coriander, garlic, green chillies and spices. I’ve replaced the chicken with roasted squash, which works well with cafreal’s fierce little kick. The sauce can be blended and cooked in minutes while the squash roasts, making this a great fuss-free recipe and unsung hero of midweek dinners.

  • Yield: 4 Servings as main course


  • 1 large butternut squash (1.5 kg)
  • rapeseed oil
  • 1 large brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 150 g fresh coriander
  • 4 cm ginger, peeled
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 green finger chillies
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ lemon juice
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 400 ml tin of coconut milk
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and line two baking trays with foil.
  2. Peel the squash, halve it, and scoop the seeds out using a spoon. Chop the flesh into 1 cm-thick half-moons. Throw them into the trays and drizzle over a couple of tablespoons of oil. Mix with your hands to make sure the squash is evenly coated, then roast for 35 to 45 minutes, or until completely tender and starting to caramelize, turning halfway.
  3. Meanwhile, make the fried onion to top the cafreal. Put a couple of tablespoons of oil into a pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add the onion. Fry for 15 to 20 minutes, until caramelized and crisp, then remove from the heat.
  4. To make the cafreal sauce, chop the coriander, ginger, garlic and chillies, and put them into a blender. Add the cumin, cinnamon, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and coconut milk, and whizz until everything is well combined.
  5. Place a deep saucepan over a medium heat and pour in the coriander and coconut milk mixture. Cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the roasted squash to the sauce and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a serving dish, scatter over the fried onion and serve alongside rice.

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