When I think of Nepal, I obviously don’t think of it as the most non-Nepalese do. Though born and brought up in America, thoughts of Nepal remind me of intimate memories. Flashbacks to singular moments that held more importance than I realised at the time.
These memories include my Maternal Grandmother’s hands; walking alongside her, never after her. Prayers with her as a small child in the morning on the rooftop of the old house which has since been bulldozed and rebuilt anew.
The sounds of family members laughing and gossiping together.
The lively streets of Thamel.
Bargaining for earrings near Durbar Square for the first time. My cousin yelling at a salesperson for trying to rip me off because I had an American accent.
Lighting 100 prayer lights at one of the many temples in Kathmandu.
Marvelling at the ancient Nepalese structures which are now in ruins from then Nepal earthquake of April 2015.
Surprisingly, my memory of the best food I ever ate in Nepal coincides with one of grief. A meal eaten together with my Father’s side of the family during the ritual mourning period for my Paternal Grandmother. Despite the sad atmosphere, I was amazed at how deliciously flavourful the simple food was. Perhaps the clashing emotions of the two memories is why that taste still lingers quite vividly. I can’t quite remember what was served – Rice, daal, cauli, some potatoes, some greens? But I do remember it was served atop a humble banana leaf as we sat in a circle on the ground.
Perhaps this is why I search for that same feeling when cooking comfort food.
To continue on last week’s post on how to make Sukuti, the Nepalese style of flame smoked goat meat, I wanted to follow up with my mother-in-law’s “farsi ra huddi sukuti” recipe which directly translates to “pumpkin/squash cooked with flame dried goat meat bones.”
TBH? It’s amazing AF. We like to use butternut squash, Sukuti with bones (smoked and dried goat meat), and other masala (spices). Simple, wholesome, delicious. With a pressure cooker, it can be ready in an hour. If you don’t have Sukuti, you can use raw beef, ox, or goat bones with meat still attached to it. Keep in mind – the more marrow, the tastier.
(Farsi ra Sukuti) Butternut Squash & Sukuti Stew
Serves: 6-8 people
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
- 3-4 TBSP oil
- 2.5-3 lb of Sukuti
- 3lb of butternut squash, chopped into cubes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 green chillies, chopped
- 1/4 tsp methi (fenugreek seeds)
- 1.5 TBSP garlic/ginger paste
- 1.5 TBSP jeera (cumin powder)
- 1 TBSP dhaniya (coriander powder)
- 1 1/4 tsp besar (turmeric powder)
- 2.5 tsp salt
- 3 cups of water
- Heat oil and add methi seeds, chopped onions, and chillies
- Once onion is translucent, add garlic and ginger paste until smell dissipates (10-15 seconds)
- Add butternut and mix it well
- Add Sukuti and mix it again
- Season with salt and all masala
- Add water slowly, and mix so that all the spices get evenly coated
- When the water starts to simmer, turn the heat down and firmly lock the cover on the pressure cooker
- Cook on low for one hour until meat is tender and falling off the bone.
The butternut squash makes it very hearty, like a stew. It’s deliciously served with rice. Feel free to add a dollop of heavy cream or creamy yogurt. Please believe me when I say this easy dish will blow your tastebuds away! 🙌🏽 I hope you all liked my post. Feel free to drop a comment!