Swap [Kaddu Nariyal Subzi]

I hosted a clothing swap for some of my girlfriends the other night.

We all scored great finds!

Designer denim, work-out shorts, a red cardi from Paris. Don’t forget the sundresses!

As much as I love clothing swaps (I’m a complete fashion girl), I hadn’t hosted one in quite some time.

I was one of the first Ottawans to host public swaps in my home back in 2008. They were more general freecycles and included a wide range of items — not just clothing.

But I got a bit scared of hosting public swaps  after more than 600 people were invited to one of my events via Facebook. Not everyone showed, but it was still crazy.

The press showed up. I was interviewed for a larger feature on freeganism.

There was an incredible amount of stuff and an incredible amount of stuff left over for me to take to appropriate donation centres.


This recipe is dedicated to my friend Mary, who didn’t make it to the swap but loves her some squash.

The dish is South Indian. It’s sweet, tangy and smoky. I highly recommend it for people with low tolerance for hot food.

Kaddu Nariyal Subzi (Squash in Coconut)

2 cups cubed kabocha or butternut squash (I like kabocha because you don’t have to peel it)
2 medium yellow onions, finely diced
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 dried red chilies
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
leaves from 4 sprigs of curry leaf
3 tbsp ghee
400 ml coconut milk
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste

Boil the squash in salted water until just tender. Drain. Mash roughly with a fork.

Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add black mustard seeds, chilies and curry leaves. Fry until aromatic and spluttering, about 2 minutes.

Add the onions. Fry to translucent. Add the garlic. Fry until the raw smell dissipates, about 2 minutes.

Add the turmeric. Stir. Add the squash. Stir to combine. Add the coconut milk.

Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Adjust seasoning.

Serve with basmati rice.


2 thoughts on “Swap [Kaddu Nariyal Subzi]

  1. Sounds yummy. I always have squash on hand, and Indian food with coconut milk is always a winner. By the way, the clothing swap sounds fabulous. I’ve been trying to organize my friends to get book swaps going. I must have the most OCD friends in the world, because every time I ask them, they say, “Drat! I just gave away a bunch of books.”

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