No mush here: Sautéeing the coarsely grated squash in coconut oil results in an almost al dente texture, and the seasonings – cumin, coriander, nigella, and cinnamon – elevate this simple side to exotic fare. This side dish can be served hot or at room temperature.
4 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large red onion, chopped (about 1½ cups)
6 cups coarsely grated butternut squash
1½ cups grated unsweetened coconut
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and toast until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add squash and reduce heat to medium; cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent squash from sticking. Stir in coconut, ¼ cup water, coriander, and nigella; if mixture is too dry, add up to another ¼ cup water, a tablespoon at a time. Add cinnamon stick and bay leaves, then reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until squash is just tender, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt.