Inspired by Goan, Indian, and Portuguese cuisine, Vixen’s Wedding in East Austin is known for their colorful dishes with bright, bold flavors to match. Using locally sourced ingredients, Chef Todd Duplechan brings the heat to every item on the menu. We loved his Roasted Garam Acorn Squash with Tamarind Glaze so much that we couldn’t resist sharing this spicy rendition of our favorite fall vegetable staple! Read on for some Thanksgiving Inspiration.
1 each acorn squash
Salt, pepper and sugar, to taste
Olive oil, as needed
Black Cardamom Garam Masala:
10 g coriander seeds (2 Tbsp. whole coriander seeds)
5 g cumin seeds (2 tsp. whole cumin seeds)
5 g cloves (2 tsp. whole clove)
5 g black pepper (2 tsp. whole black peppercorn)
10 g black cardamom seeds (10 ea. black cardamom pods)
12 g cinnamon sticks (1-2 whole cinnamon sticks, preferably Ceylon)
6 fresh curry leaves
30 g chana dal (2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. chana dal)
8 g coriander seeds (1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. coriander)
8 g kashmiri chilies (1 ea. dried kashmiri chili)
300 g coconut milk (1 1/4c. coconut milk)
40 g ginger (1 lobe/branch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced)
30 g garlic (6 ea. whole garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and sliced)
280 g red onion (1 small or 1/2 large red onion, peeled and thinly-sliced)
2 g fresh curry leaves (4 ea. fresh curry leaves)
35 g tamarind paste (1/4 c. tamarind paste)
15 g mustard oil (1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. mustard oil)
1/4 c. peanuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. washed and chopped cilantro and stems
*Many of these spices, dals and chilies can be found in a local Indian market, like Man Pasand or Ghandi Bazaar*
❶ Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all spices for the garam masala together in an electric grinder. Grind all spices into a fine powder. To make the tamarind glaze, toast dal, coriander, and the kashmiri chili in a small amount of neutral oil (like grapeseed or rice bran) over medium-low heat until they begin to color. Remove from heat and set aside. In the same pan, fry the thinly sliced red onions until they begin to brown. Remove from heat.
❷ In a blender, combine the toasted spices, fried onions, raw ginger, garlic, curry leaves, tamarind, and coconut milk. Blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly pour in the mustard oil in a thin stream to emulsify.
❸ Using a peeler, remove the skin from the acorn squash. Cut in half and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Cut each half of the acorn squash into vertical “ribs,” about 3/4″ wide. Season with salt and sugar, to taste, plus the garam masala. Toss the squash in enough olive oil just to coat, then place on a baking sheet in the pre-heated oven, covered with aluminum foil. Cook until tender, or about 7 minutes, then remove from oven to cool.
❹ Once cooled and ready to serve, sear the individual squash ribs in a pan over medium-high heat in a neutral oil until they get a deep char on each side. Brush the top with the tamarind glaze. Serve with crushed peanuts and chopped cilantro stems.