If you are cooking for vegetarians, you can use either tofu or paneer to make this delicious stuffed squash recipe. Paneer is a firm Indian cheese. Make sure you use firm tofu because soft tofu will fall to pieces in this recipe. The combination of juicy grilled butternut squash and fragrant Indian biryani is a great one because the flavors go together so nicely.
You might have tried grilled butternut squash recipes before but we are using butternut squash for this grilled squash recipe because the color and flavor both contrast well with the vegetarian biryani recipe. Grilled squash is juicy and delicious but keep an eye on it when it is grilling. Grill marks look good but a burnt layer on top does not.
There are quite a few ingredients in this dish but do not worry about that because the result is so great. The main ingredient is the butternut squash and you can prepare those by discarding the seeds and stringy bits from the inside. The pulp is good to eat. You can eat all of it apart from the skin, but squash is easy enough to scoop out of its skin. Once you have prepared the squash, it is time to prepare the filling which goes inside. Whether or not you have made a biryani recipe before, you will love the rich Indian flavors in this one. Plenty of spices go into this one, including cardamom, cloves, turmeric and cinnamon. Once you can smell the fragrance of these wonderful spices cooking in oil, it is time to add the onion and garlic to the mix. Some ginger is also nice here.
Next the rice, bouillon and yogurt go into the biryani mixture, then finally the tofu, zucchini, squash pulp and red bell peppers. Add some sweetness by throwing in some sultanas or raisins. This mixture can cook while the butternut squash is on the barbeque. Hopefully they will be ready at the same time, and if not you can just keep the biryani mixture warm, or keep the butternut squash warm, as needed. The cinnamon stick and bay leaves can be picked out of the biryani and discarded. The rest of the mixture goes into the barbequed butternut squash. This is a recipe which needs no side dish. The dish includes protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals. In other words, it is perfectly balanced in terms of nutrition.
This is a lovely recipe for vegetarians because it makes a change from cheesy or other tiresome vegetarian dishes. Nobody is going to be bored with their food if they get served this, and it is not solely for vegetarians because the flavors in this will appeal to every palate. Nobody will miss the meat. Biryani is a traditional Indian dish which may be served alongside meat or fish, or it can be served by itself as lunch or dinner. This satisfying mixture is just so tasty and offers such a range of mouthwatering, aromatic flavors.
- 2 butternut squashes, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 cups warm vegetable bouillon
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 inch cinnamon stick or ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon sultanas
- ¼ zucchini, finely diced
- ¼ red bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups chopped onion
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 ½ cups yogurt
- 1 ½ cups long grain rice (basmati is best)
- 1 lb firm tofu or paneer (Indian cheese)
- Salt and black pepper
- Remove the string and seeds from the butternut squashes and discard.
- Also, scoop out some of the pulp so you have a hollow to put the biryani in. Leave an inch of pulp all over the squash. Reserve the scooped out pulp and chop it quite finely.
- Put the butter in a large pan with a lid over a medium high heat and, when it melts, reduce the heat to medium. Add the cloves, cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon, and turmeric. Cook, stirring often, until the spices are fragrant. This will take a couple of minutes. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic. Add salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.
- Add the rice, stir until it is glossy, and coated with butter. Turn the heat down and add the bouillon and yogurt.
- Stir well. Add the tofu, zucchini, reserved squash pulp, red bell pepper and sultanas, turn the heat down to a slow simmer and cover the pan. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grill the squash directly over a medium hot grill.
- The concave shape of the squash traps moisture and steams the inside. When the squash is tender, remove it from the grill.
- Check the rice mixture.
- If the liquid is all absorbed and the rice is tender, it is ready. If not, cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and the bay leaves.
- Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Divide the biryani between the 4 hot, grilled squash halves and serve hot.
This wonderfully spiced recipe is inspired by the classic Indian biryani dish, and the flavors will be a real talking point around the dinner table. The biryani mixture is stuffed into a hollowed out butternut squash, which acts as a serving dish. This flavorful and aromatic grilled squash recipe is a delicious switch from many plain and boring squash recipes, and you will wonder why you never thought of stuffing a squash with a tasty rice mixture before. This is great not only for vegetarians but for anyone who fancies trying something different and enjoying some mouthwatering stuffed squash cooked on the barbeque.
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