Squash in Coconut Milk (Ginataang Calabasa)

This is one of my favorite veggie dish, I’d like to share this because not only is this so delicious, it is also very simple and easy to cook..as most of my favorite dishes are. You can have this with fish or any meat- fried, broiled, grilled or steamed. You only need a few ingredients which you may already have in stock or  can be easily found in any supermarket or grocery store.

We call this dish ginataan calabasa in Filipino. Ginataan actually means cooked in coconut milk;  mostly anything,  whether sweet or savory that is cooked in or with coconut milk is called ginataan, you can add just about anything as a main ingredient like in this dish squash is  used, you could try adding prawns or crab and some green chilies to this and it’s one of the most delicious thing you’ve ever tasted. If only my husband’s not allergic to seafood, I would have included it.

For vegetarians, you may also want to try adding okra and eggplant or make this dish with eggplant alone, it’s just as delicious especially if you like eggplant. I hope that you’ll give this recipe a try, I have a feeling you’ll like it 😉

saute garlic, onion, ginger and squash, add coconut milk..simmer

add the pure coconut milk and chilli leaves..cook for a few more minutes and you’re done!

2 cups of squash, cut into chunks
1 medium red onion, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chilli pepper or (2 pcs green chillies, whole with tip cut off), optional
1 bunch chilli leaves, optional or use other greens
fish sauce, to taste, optional; but I recommend using it if you have it in stock
2-21/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup pure coconut milk
cooking oil

note: if using canned coconut milk, you need about 2 cans, reserve 1/2 cup of coconut milk then dilute the rest with water to make 2 1/2 cups.

Here’s How:
In a pan or saucepan, heat about a tablespoon of oil; when ready saute garlic, onion and ginger, cook for about a minute then add squash, season with salt and pepper. Saute for about 2 minutes then pour in about coconut milk (diluted), season with fish sauce, add in the red chilli pepper and bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer. Cook until the squash is tender and 3/4 of the liquid has evaporated, then add the pure coconut milk, cook on low heat for about 5 minutes, then add the chilli leaves if using, taste it, adjust the seasoning if necessary.

That’s all..serve with rice and meat, fish or chicken. YUm!

17 Responses to "Squash in Coconut Milk (Ginataang Calabasa)"

  1. Trisha   December 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    This is one of my most favourite dishes too!!! Even when I was a kid, when everyone else hated eating vegetables, I’d request mum to cook this. This is great with prawns or better yet… crabs too!!!

  2. Chowhound   December 12, 2009 at 10:43 am

    This looks absolutely delicious. I think I know what I’ll make for dinner tonight.

  3. MaryMoh   December 8, 2009 at 12:37 am

    I think the Philippines and Malaysia share a lot of similar food. We use a lot of coconut in our cooking too, especially in curries and desserts. I love butternut squash curry. Yours look so delicious here…mmm

    • Olive   December 8, 2009 at 8:47 am

      I agree with you there, Mary…just to name a few: our sesame seed balls, rice cakes, and the kaya is very much like our coconut jam.. when this Holiday season’s over I’m gonna start trying out other Malaysian recipes along with other cuisines…:)

  4. Conor @ HoldtheBeef   December 7, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Fantastic recipe! So simple too!

  5. Cheah   December 7, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Think this dish will go well with ketupat, the rice that is served with satay and nutty, spicy sauce.

  6. Joy   December 7, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    uhm WOW this looks absolutely delicious — I love using coconut milk in everything. I am such a fan of squash too so I have been eating as much as I can before it goes out of season…this will definitely be the next on my list to try. MMMMM — I have never seen chili leaves what would be a good substitute if I cant find them in the store?

    • Olive   December 8, 2009 at 8:34 am

      Hi Joy 🙂
      I guess you can sub spinach 🙂
      @Kathy – this is a bit sweet too because of the squash..
      @Alta – glad you like it, let me know how it goes…I think what I used is closer to Kabocha or actually a kabocha.. it looks like it, I’m not sure though:)
      @Foodlovee – I used the leaves of red hot chilli peppers or what we call siling labuyo..it’s great with chicken tinola, I haven’t tried the leaves from other variety.. I think you better check first in your place, if it’s being sold in the food market, it’s definitely edible! 🙂

      @ Jessie and Natashathanks, I’m glad you like it 🙂

  7. kathyvegas   December 7, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    I love squash and cocunut milk together. I often make a Thai version that is sweeter but can’t wait to try this savoury recipe using the two ingredients. This looks delicious!

  8. Jessie   December 7, 2009 at 11:46 am

    great way to use squash while it’s in season, I love the idea of coconut milk sounds delicious!

  9. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie   December 7, 2009 at 7:01 am

    The squash sounds super cooked in coconut milk, how delicious!

  10. foodlovee   December 7, 2009 at 5:08 am

    Looks very good,I too didn’t know can eat chilli leaves.Now I go find chilli leaves.

  11. Divina   December 6, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    We have the same dish at home. hehe. We also cook this but instead of chili leaves, we us malunggay. I’ll try this with chili leaves soon. 😀

  12. Jeannie   December 6, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    This looks good. I assumed the 1/2 at the end is thick coconut milk? And I didn’t know chilli leaves are edible!

    • Olive   December 7, 2009 at 2:41 am

      oh yes, it’s 1/2 cup pure coconut milk…thanks Jeannie 🙂

      That’s not surprising, Divine..malunggay is good, it’s vitamin and calcium rich, I like it too but it’s messy, there’s leaves all over my counter when I cook with it 😛

      Thanks Rebecca, Anncoo! 🙂

  13. rebecca   December 6, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    oh yummy love coconut milk great blog Olive

  14. anncoo   December 6, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    WOW! This looks so succulent and delightful [*.*]


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