There’s a more elaborate procedure of this recipe, but for the sake of you busy people, I’ve published the shortcut version. If you do have several hours ahead of time, you can soak fresh chickpeas in water rather than using those that come in a Goya can. You can also buy the pre-cut butternut squash and save your energy from peeling and chopping it. A jar of preserved lemon can now be bought at Whole Foods in their Mediterranean aisle, though if you read this site often, you know I’m a big fan of pickling my own. As for spices, the ingredients list is long, as most curry-based dishes are, but I can vouch that skipping the mustard seeds is the only thing that’s forgivable. Double up on the cilantro if you don’t have coriander seeds handy. (But why not, I beseech you!) Leftover coconut milk and cilantro may be poured and added to your rice to make your carbs more fragrant before the grains come to a simmer.
2 stalks of lemongrass, tender parts minced
1 knob of ginger, peeled, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red onion, finely chopped
a dash or two of turmeric powder
1 tbsp coriander, grounded
1 tsp mustard seeds, toasted
a pinch of chiles
1 can of chickpeas, washed, drained
1 butternut squash, peeled, chopped in manageable pieces
1 preserved lemon, chopped
1 cup of coconut milk
cilantro, roughly chopped
1. Put lemongrass, ginger and garlic in a food processor and pulse to a paste. Set aside. Alternately, you can use your mortar and pestle for this; just make sure you keep your lemongrass large enough so you can pick them off before serving.
2. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil and cook onions until soft and translucent. Add the lemongrass-ginger-garlic paste and fry in low to medium fire until fragrant. Avoid burning.
3. Add the turmeric, coriander, mustard seeds and chiles. Sauté until well-mixed. Add chickpeas and squash with enough broth so that the squash are halfway submerged. Cook in a low simmer until squash is tender but not easily mashed.
4. Add preserved lemon and season with salt. Mix in coconut milk to thicken the broth slightly. Add cilantro and simmer for another 5 minutes until everything is well incorporated. Serve with warm rice.