It was fall and now winter is almost here knocking at my door. I told my smart phone to remind me once a day at least that I have to post a fall special recipe that will feature pumpkin or butternut squash as a star. I guess there is some unwritten law about it. But I keep forgetting it like the other things. I presumed my neurons are working fine or are they over exhausted? So next time I told OOM to include butternut squash in the grocery list. To my surprise it did more than that.
It was a long weekend and I was lazily slept past eight in the morning, tucked cozily under the warmth of my comforter, when the smart phone buzzed all of a sudden. I was annoyed because it was not the alarm tone nor it was a ringtone, an app that I have downloaded a week ago and have comfortably forget about it, was nudging me to wake up from the sleep “because it is weekend and I have to run to the grocery store to buy butternut squash.” That’s what OOM did last Saturday. Few minutes later it snoozed again.
I was part happy, part annoyed and surprised as well. I appreciate all the technology advancements that we had achieved in recent times, specially the smart phones and the wide spectrum of apps that it supports. And with that comes the darker side of it. Technology has invaded so much in our life that it is slowly paralyzing our entire thinking spectrum. Just the same way you do not add 37 and 38 in your mind, you reach for calc in your phone. But the question is can it replace the creativity, that will be perhaps the biggest challenge for artificial intelligence science. And Chef Watson is perhaps aiming to achieve that.
There are weekends when you don’t feel going outside for lunch or dinner or you failed to self invite yourself to your relative’s, friend’s or parent’s house, you have to cook four meals a day. No escape from that. With half-closed eyes as you stared at the half emptied fridge wondering what to cook for the day, and day afterwards. Wait ! no worries, you got Chef Watson at your disposal to design the menu for you while you enjoy the bubble bath. Is n’t it pretty cool?
After winning the jeopardy the game show three years back, IBM’s Watson the supercomputer had turned into a masterchef. A cognitive cooking technology that will spin recipes using Bon Appetit’s recipe archive, only you have to specify the ingredients available, type of dish and the region. And Chef Watson will come up with few surprises as well. Feeling good already because you have just outsourced the “thinking and creativity” to Chef Watson?
Next moment you find few sorry-looking carrots, a stick of dying celery and a tomato which was hiding under the giant pumpkin in the oversized fridge basket was crying for your attention. I desperately need an app for that who will remind me about the status of veggies and leftovers.
So when DH asked me “anything special today” with an undertone that hinted me I have to cook something special, I pushed the leftover bowl of cabbage towards him. He immediately said “let’s go out. There is a new restaurant in the locality we havent tried yet.” Another stern look from me and he understood it completely which explains that “nothing special unless I am cooking for my blog.” But you need to eat something special on weekend, so I stuffed the cabbage inside the dough and make fluffy kulchas out of it which we had it with homemade pickles and raitas /yogurt dips.
As for the sorry-looking carrots, celery and tomatoes which hardly had any juice left in it were all set for some imaginative soup recipe. And that’s the best possible remedy for them. No one need to know what goes inside the soup! 😀 Can you fine tune that for me Chef Watson? Plus there is no harm in becoming little hopeful. I am seriously hoping one day you will be able to do all the prep work and cooking for me as well. 🙂 As of now I am not willing to outsource my creativity to you but am sure none the less cooking with you will be interesting as well as inspiring.
Like this savory butternut squash recipe which had been inspired from the thousands of pancake recipes on the internet but at the end of day it speaks about my personal touch to it. This savory butternut squash pancake has got all the Indian-inspired flavours fused with hint of rosemary. Butternut squash was pan-roasted first that imparts nice sweet caramelized flavour to it. Buttermilk adds the soft touch to it, makes it light and fluffy. Rice flour brings the crispness to the pancakes. In short this is one must try savory pancakes without the added sugar and syrupy liquids. You get to enjoy the natural sweetness of the squash.
- All purpose flour : 1 cup
- Rice flour : 1 cup
- Egg (large) : 1
- Butter : 2 tbsp
- Baking powder: 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Buttermilk : 2cup
- Oil spray for greasing
- to make about Butternut squash Puree : 1½ cup
- Butternut squash : half slice of medium size (approximately 2-3 cups chopped squash)
- Pumpkin pie spice blend : ½ tsp
- Onions (finely minced) : 1 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Chilli / paprika powder : 1 tsp
- Cilantro (chopped finely) : 2 tbsp
- Oil : 1 tbsp
- Peel and cut the squash in chunks, discard the seeds and threads.
- In a pan, drizzle or spray some oil and roast the butternut squash till it attains a nicely caramelized color.
- This will take about 30 minutes. By that time the squash will be cooked through and nicely browned.
- In the same pan, add the onions and fry lightly.
- With the help of fork or a masher gently mash the squash, add the lightly fried onions, salt, chilli powder, pumpkin pie spice blend and cilantro.
- With the help of fork or whisker mix it thoroughly.
- In a wide bowl, sift both the flour, salt and baking powder.
- Beat one egg lightly and add it to the squash puree along with melted butter and half of the buttermilk.
- Now add this wet mixture to the flour mixture and whisk gently.
- Slowly add the remaining butetrmilk as required to make thick and flowing pancake batter.
- Check for the seasonings and let the pancake batter stand for 15 minutes.
- Heat a griddle on high heat, lower the heat once it is heated enough and grease it with oil.
- Pour a ladle full of pancake batter and spread it gently if requires.
- Wait for few minutes till the air bubbles rise to the surface and then flip them and cook for 1 more minute.
- Serve the savory butternut squash pancakes with yogurt dip.
This recipe suits to yellow pumpkin too.