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I tried to cook a butternut squash curry, and I feel that the squash wasn't exactly "infused" with the sauce. I've had similar experiences with making gratin, and I feel I may be making the same mistake.

As for the recipe, it is basically:

  1. heat up butter, cook garlic and ginger.
  2. throw in curry powder, after a minute add in the squash + cream.
  3. bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and lower the heat.
  4. cook around 20 min, then uncover and raise the heat for 5 min.

The result was very tasty, so it wasn't a failure, but I felt like the dish came in two parts: the sauce, and the squash. They didn't really 'join forces' so to speak, which is something that I feel is a hallmark for a good curry (squash, pumpkin, etc). To try and be more explicit I expected the squash chunks to be more creamy and moist. Mine seemed to resemble a baked potato in terms of texture, a little dry and grainy. The flavors also seemed to remain separate (most of the flavor being in the sauce), whereas I was expecting the sauce/flavor to be absorbed by the squash.

Side note: the recipe asked for coconut milk, and I used whipping cream and water as a substitute, hope that wasn't the culprit...

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It is not clear what failing to become "infused" or to "join forces" means here. Short of pureeing the dish, the squash is going to be chunks within the cream sauce. Can you better describe the outcome you are getting compared to the outcome you are expecting? –  SAJ14SAJ May 13 '13 at 6:49
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As to gratin, I usually cook it for much longer than 20 minutes, so perhaps that's part of it? –  Cerberus May 13 '13 at 11:37
    
You probably need to add some more liquid, pref. water so that the flavors can seep through the squash. You recipe seems to have very little liquid and since you seem to be using a lot of cream, maybe the flavors don't get absorbed by the squash because the sauce is too thick? –  Dharini Chandrasekaran May 13 '13 at 17:06
    
Are you looking for a result more akin to potato dauphinoise? –  Stefano May 15 '13 at 9:39
    
Thanks for the comments. SAJ14SAJ - I'll try to describe it a bit more: –  Mike K. May 21 '13 at 3:31
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I think you expected to get curry flavored squash chunks, but it doesn't work like that. Sliced up squash simply isn't going to absorb that much flavor. If you really want to meld the two you need to physically combine the two. You could either smash it all up, or use a blender of some kind, of the two mashing would be my choice as it would preserve some texture.

If preserving the chunked-up texture of the squash is important to you then try blending 1/4 of your cooked squash with all of the sauce, then reducing it down a bit in a pan before adding the squash back in, that will make the sauce much more squash-y.

Also, I'd recommend you use coconut milk next time, it has much more flavor than whipping cream and water, and flavor is what you need.

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Thanks for the answer, I've tried to make my question more explicit. I feel like you addressed the flavor aspect very well, but I'm wondering also about the texture of the squash chunks. –  Mike K. May 21 '13 at 3:56
    
@MikeK., the texture of the squash chunks has to do entirely with the type of squash you use. There's many different varieties, you have to try a few to get the result you want. Some squashes are stringy, some are starchy, and some are creamy. I don't know that many varieties, however of the ones I know I'd choose butternut squash. –  GdD May 21 '13 at 8:58
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Squash has way too much organic structure to just fall apart in a stew. You need to puree that thing somehow. A good place to start is to use a good stick blender, if you have one, and cut into the heart of the finished stew while it's still hot. Once the mixture is smooth and glossy, you'll have a smooth creamy soup.

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