Zest and Herbs

Squash and coconut tacos

There isn’t really much of a story behind this dish.  Having eaten something similar in a restaurant overlooking where the Tamar flows into Plymouth Harbour, I decided to recreate it again.  Originally, topped with soured cream and the coconut cooked with the squash, I adapted a recipe for an Indian-style coconut dip into a sauce, dispensing with the temptation of having a pot of leftover soured cream in the fridge to dip a spoon into at any given opportunity.

Squash and coconut taco

The coconut milk base for the sauce, sharpened with fresh lime, kept the creamy texture and contrasted with the sweet roast squash and fresh coriander whilst it cooled down the burn from the hot chilli sauce too.  Make sure to track down a good Mexican chilli powder though: dried, they have a more complex smoky  than the more common Indian chillies.  This will make enough for two, but you can stretch it further by combining it with guacamole, refried beans or any other accompaniments you think are suitable.


For the vegetables:

  • 400g butternut or other squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm dice
  • 1 small onion, cut into thick slices
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1cm strips
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican dried red chilli powder, such as chile de árbol or chipotle
  • Salt and pepper

For the coconut sauce:

  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 100 ml coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

To serve:

  • 6 tortillas
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • Lime wedges
  • Hot salsa or chilli sauce

Preheat the oven to 180C.  In a large roasting tin, mix together the vegetables with the olive oil and seasoning so that they are evenly coated and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, turning halfway through; if the squash has been stored for a long time, it make take longer to cook, so cover with foil partway through cooking so the pepper and onion doesn’t burn.  While the vegetables cook, make the coconut sauce.

In a dry frying pan, toast the cumin seeds over a high heat, stirring them constantly until they are fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).  Combine all the ingredients for the sauce together, mix well and set aside. If the sauce appears too thick, it can be loosened with a little water.

Once the vegetables are cooked, warm the tortillas and serve with fresh coriander, lime wedges and the hot chilli sauce of your choosing, ready to assemble as you eat.

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This entry was posted on February 4, 2014 by in Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , .

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