Scrumptious Spaghetti Squash Upma
Indian fusion, vegetarian, gluten free recipe!
makes about 8 (1 cup) servings
Scrumptious Spaghetti Squash Upma…can you say that 10 times? 🙂
Spaghetti squash never stops fascinating me as one of nature’s amazing marvels! So for my first post for the fall season, I decided to start with spaghetti squash. I got a medium sized one at Trader Joes, which had microwave cooking instructions on the label that said it would cook in 10 minutes on high. I guess all the spaghetti squashes had the same label, regardless of the size of the squash:) Mine took 25 minutes on high to cook in the microwave but it was easy to do and came out great. I love how the squash retains the spaghetti strands and its texture when cooked.
Upma is an Indian dish made generally out of cream of wheat or rice (rava), seviya (very thin wheat or rice noodles ) The lower calorie spaghetti squash packed with nutrition and fiber is also a gluten free alternative! But how does this upma taste, you ask? I love the earthy and slightly sweet spaghetti squash paired with the ‘delicate’ Indian spices in this recipe. The unique aroma of the toasted urad dal , the curry leaves and spices, infuse the squash ‘noodles’ and along with the nuttiness and crunch of the peanuts, create a Scrumptious Spaghetti Squash Upma- a ‘win win’ situation all around!
I am lucky to live in a town with friends from various cultures and the array of food at our gatherings is sensational! And while I drool over the Chinese and Vietnamese noodle dishes, my friends love the seviya upma I make, calling them Indian noodles. I am sure they will love the spaghetti squash upma even more, for its unique taste.
So to make the ‘spaghetti’-
I chose a medium sized spaghetti squash which seemed pretty heavy for its size.
I followed Trader Joe’s instructions on the label to cook the spaghetti squash in the microwave. In a shallow bowl, keep the squash halves cut side up. Add about an inch of water to the bowl and microwave on high for 10 minutes. I checked the squash after 10 minutes and mine was not cooked . The 10 minutes may work for smaller sized spaghetti squash. I microwaved on high for another 10 minutes and it was done. The flesh deepens in color after cooking but also the picture of the cooked squash is taken in indoor incandescent lighting:)
Be very careful as you remove the bowl from the microwave as it gets very hot and has very hot water in it too.
Set it aside. When it is cool enough to handle, using a fork, scrape the flesh lightly to ‘harvest’ your spaghetti! I got about 7 cups of the spaghetti! Mine were a little watery so I left them in a colander while I did the prep work for the upma.
For the Upma-
- 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 teaspoon ghee or clarified butter
- 1/2 cup raw peanuts with the skin
- 1 teaspoon urad dal
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 dried red chilies
- 8 or 9 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 7 cups of the ‘spaghetti’ from the squash.( Drain them if they seem watery with the steam condensation).
- juice of 1 small lime
- sea salt to taste
- 1/2 cup of frozen grated coconut, thawed
To make the Upma-
- Heat the olive oil and ghee in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the raw peanuts and let them roast for about a minute or so.
- Turn the heat to low,Add the urad dal and the minced garlic and stir until both the urad dal and garlic turn light golden but are not burnt, about 30 seconds or so.
- Add the red chilies ,curry leaves, mustard seeds and cumin seeds and stir for a few seconds until the seeds sizzle and the curry leaves and chilies are nicely toasted.
- Add the ‘spaghetti’, lemon juice and sea salt and toss well together. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving container and top with the grated coconut.
I used the shell of the spaghetti squash as my serving ware. It is pretty sturdy and I thought it looked pretty in it. What do you think?