Thai green curried squash + coconut rice



Two months ago, I drove by myself to a double funeral. It was a surreal experience, one I hope never to repeat. I can’t quite remember the details of the day, except that the children handled it like the champions they are and will have to continue to be, and someone near me was wearing far too much perfume. Or maybe multiple someones, I couldn’t tell. My head ached from it. Lonely, I sat on the very edge of a hard chair, and watched hundreds of people file past. More and more black-clothed strangers crowded in around me, separating me from the people I knew. I tried to look up and forward, but my mom’s dark wavy hair blended in with her sister’s. More people crowded into the pew I sat in. The little seat edge I perched on shrank. Or maybe I grew smaller and smaller, like Alice in Wonderland going down that rabbit hole. Because I really couldn’t be here, alone, and this sadness we all (more or less) felt couldn’t be real.

I had written a whole other post of thoughts I wanted to share with you, but after the funeral, I had to write of something different. I wasn’t sure entirely what. But there’s something in my perspective that had changed. Maybe to tell you how small the problems we/I moan about everyday was in comparison to this. Or something about love and family. All of the things my mother and I said to each other after she told me, while I stood trembling in my socked feet. All of those things that don’t become our truth until something happens to make them so.

Since childhood, my mind constantly touches upon something a reading from grandfather’s funeral, something about life being a balance of good and bad, happy and sad. Are not the good parts worth suffering through the bad? Or is my brain going fuzzy from too little sleep? It’s 3 am here now, I’ve got an 8 am class and should sleep but I have written and rewritten this post so many times that I think I’m going crazy. It’s never going to be perfect. The balance: good food, family meals, falling-apart shoes, funerals. What the most of us live with. I don’t believe in the cheesiness of a “happily ever after” or a “new beginning”. No such thing, we have what we have and all we’ve got is another chance to make the best of it. We carry on. Simply that. Just the chance to take what we’ve got and make 2014 mind-blowingly, soul-crushingly beautiful.


Thai green curried squash and coconut rice
1 cup of your favorite broth
1 cup coconut milk (not lite)
1 cup brown/white jasmine rice
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup minced onion
1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
1 stalk of lemongrass, bottom 4 inches, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. of Thai green curry paste (Nigel Slater’s recipe is my go-to)
12 – 13 oz. cubed squash (about 1 inch cubes)
zest and juice of one lime (kaffir lime if you can find them)
¼ cup toasted sliced almond
Extra lime wedges and thyme for serving

Rinse the rice two-three times in cold water, or until the water runs clear. Put in a medium saucepan, add coconut milk and broth/water, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes (or according to instructions for the rice that you are using). Fluff, then quickly replace the cover and let stand at least 10 minutes.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the onion, then the coriander and cumin seeds and lemongrass. Sauté for 5 minutes over medium heat, or until the onion is golden brown. Add the curry paste and sauté for a minute more. Then, add the squash and lime juice. Sauté for about 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
Once the rice and squash mixture are both read, combine them both in your sauté pan, add the lime juice, cook through for a few minutes. Top with the sliced almonds, and serve with thyme and lime wedges.



***p.s. Darjeeling Dreams has moved away from blogspot. If you were subscribed or following via Google Reader, you will have to resubscribe to RSS. thank you!

  1. Preeti,

    Hi jyoti… thanks for visiting my space, you have nice blog space with wonderful clicks….

  2. Anna,

    Welcome back! I’m so very sorry for your losses, but it sounds like you’re working your way towards a more positive and fulfilling future, which is a hard thing to not just do, but to even recognize that it needs doing. I wish you luck and a very happy new year.

  3. So wonderful to have you back, Jyoti, and so sorry to hear about your losses. Just like what you said..2014 will be a beautiful year for all of us.
    I wish you ALL THE BEST in 2014!

  4. Hi Joyti, you know that we would all welcome more posts from Darjeeling Dreams–they are lovely, lyrical, and let us know about your journey. and your food is so fine! here’s to mind-blowing soul-crushing beauty. Nancy

  5. im so happy to see you back..i have been craving for your words so a really long time. So sorry about the loss..i hope in 2014 you are able to accomplish all of what you have wanted to and more.

  6. Juliana,

    Oh Dear…so good to see your post…I am so sorry for your losses…I am confident that 2014 will be a good year, filled with laughs and hope.
    Lovely rice dish, so fragrant…
    Wishing you all the best Joyti :D

  7. Beautiful words Joyti! I can imagine the double funeral would have certainly given cause to much contemplation. I hope that 2014 is a wonderful year for you.

  8. Joyti, my dear, it is so wonderful to have you back and yet crushing to read about your loss.

    It is no consolation, I know. But, nearly two years ago I lost my aunt. My heart imploded. My whole family imploded – it was so unjust. She was, truly, an angelic presence amidst a sea of family conflict. I wished others would have gone in her place. At my wedding I looked around to check for her, just in case. I grieved, I mourned, I was not OK, sometimes I’m still not OK and I feel exactly as you’ve described above.

    I suppose what I’m saying is that you are supported and valued and not alone, and that in sharing your experience you join a network of others who help each other heal. I truly wish the best for you in 2014 – that what comes after this nourishes you.

  9. Oh Joyti, what a hard start for a new year. Without death one would never have the chance to appreciate life. It is a gift that we often take for granted. Your words are beautiful and as a writer I think you feel things in your soul and express yourself so eloquently. It will be a beautiful year and hopefully you will share it with all of us.

  10. I’m so sorry that you had to go through such a loss, but it sounds like it’s brought about some good soul-searching for you, too. You are a wonderful writer – you really captivated me with this post!

  11. Joyti, you have my deepest sympathies. The thoughts and feelings you so beautifully expressed evoked memories of my Dad’s funeral last year, which marked a point of loss for me, and a point of growth, too. Time marches on and markers in time are indelibly etched, but they’re a measure of how well we’re using our remaining time. Life becomes much more precious. I’m glad you’ve found hope in writing again and I’m looking forward to reading more of what’s in your heart.

  12. lena,

    This is such an incredibly moving post, Joyti–thank you for sharing such a big, beautiful, raw piece of yourself.

  13. Rosa,

    That looks absolutely delicious! A wonderful combination of ingredients and flavors.



  14. I’m smitten with this recipe and your photography. Glad I “met” your blog. And you, above all you with your words and thoughts.

  15. Louise,

    Hi Joyti,
    I’m so sorry to hear of your losses. It sounds like you are going to turn this experience into a positive which is all we can do when we reflect and change. Thank you so much for sharing such heartfelt words.

    Your recipe is most appealing. I never think to cook rice in coconut milk. I must remember that. There are some wonderful flavors dancing in that dish of yours, I’m so glad that I got a chance to see it and to “meet” you:) Thank you so much for sharing and for popping by my blog. Louise

  16. notyet100,

    glad to see ur post after such a long time :-)
    take care

  17. I’m sorry to hear about your sad experience and losses, but I surely do hope 2014 brings some sunshine your way. Just want you to know I’m channeling some big ol hugs to you.

    And PS. I love this rice dish!

  18. mjskit,

    I love coconut rice but have never made it with brown rice. I can see how brown rice would be much better with the squash. This is the type of dish that we love for our meatless meal nights. I’m pinning this for this weekend. Thanks!

  19. I am so very sorry about your losses and I hope that 2014 will be full of beauty and happiness for you. I love the way you write and I got all teary reading this post. And, I can’t wait to try this scrumptious recipe. xoxo

  20. Dearest Joyti,
    Although I am so very sad for your losses (please know my heart is with you), I am overjoyed at seeing you here in Blogland once again! And what a treat it was to see you once again at The Tearoom as well! I will look forward to seeing you more often.

    Wishing you a beautiful rest of your week,

  21. Daniela,

    Good to have you back,my dear!
    Was missing your posts already.
    The rice looks gorgeous.

  22. Pia,

    There’s something cathartic about writing (and rewriting and rewriting) at 3am. Nothing helps me as much, and I hope it helped you a little.
    I wish you bright shiny days and new ballet flats for the new year. xx

  23. Joanne,

    Oh, girl, I am so so so sorry for your loss. It is really just hard. When my dad died a year and a half ago, it was very similar in that it felt like it happened in an instant, out of nowhere, and it definitely leaves you wondering why and how, and a little in shock. And there are no answers.

    I’m so glad you’re getting back to blogging, though! This green curry is definitely my kind of food! Veggie-full and thai-flavored = all the good things.

  24. I’m really sorry about the funeral experience, and yes, hope you never have to go through that again. Thanks for stopping by my blog and the comment. This recipe looks wonderful Joyti.

  25. Sissi,

    Welcome back, Joyti. Such a moving post, you have made me speechless. I am so sorry. Let’s hope this year brings only joy and happiness.
    The curried squash looks comforting and delicious.

  26. I’m so sorry for your loss, Joyti. This post, your words, left me speechless and with tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing your precious thoughts and feelings, yes even the confusion, with us.

    I’m looking forward to 2014 and more of Darjeeling Dreams! I’m truly happy I found this beautiful space of yours.


  27. “how inconsequential the problems we/I moan about everyday was in comparison to real loss” <- i try so hard to keep this in mind. this was a beautiful post ma'am – and isn't it when we go through moods in life like this, or experience the kind of thing you just did, that we're able to see these things about life.
    and it was nice to hear from you also.
    i think when i'm done with whole30 i will be more paleo and allow honey…and oats. and oats and honey together. and i should try this too..

  28. I can’t even imagine what you went through, but I’m certain getting back to do things you love will make it better with time and thank you for sharing your wonderful work with us!

  29. Katerina,

    So beautiful and aromatic! I love all the flavors combined in it!

  30. Just came over for the first time today, and your site is so beautiful! Love the super clean design.

  31. Welcome back Joyti, so good to be here after long time, but sorry about the loss. But i’m glad you walking towards the positive side of it. It isn’t easy but as they say time will heal. I lost my most dear one 6 years back, we are still struggling, trying to find the answer why? the void will always be there, nothing can fill, but their memories and their beautiful soul will always be there for us, guiding us in time of need and distress. Hope God gives strength and hope!

  32. Tanvi,

    I am so glad that you are back and so sorry abt all this.
    This is a beautiful recipe – combine my love for coconut, thai and rice. Beautiful shots dear! Keep posting

  33. Dear Joyti, your post brought tears in my eyes… My deepest sympathy for your loss. My thoughts went to a 24 months old little girl who suddenly lost her mummy when she was 8 months old. It happened a few days before I gave birth to my son, and I often think about her and how it is to grow up without the loving presence of one’s mother. Can’t find any words…
    Your curry looks delicious, as all your recipes do.

  34. Katerina,

    I am so very sorry about your losses! Death is so definite and irreversible that breaks our hearts! But time is the best healer of such wounds and furthermore people never die as long as we keep them in our hearts! Your dish is simple yet very aromatic! Welcome back!

  35. I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s amazing how loss can put life in perspective. I hope your 2014 is resetting is lovely ways. This is a beautiful dish for a return to your beautiful blog!

  36. Mallika,

    Joyti, each time I read your post, I am moved. Your perspective to life, the loss, the death and its deal is so well put across in words. Its reflective and makes one think and ponder. I hope you gain strength to overcome the loss.

    The dish looks stunning as usual! Beautiful!

  37. sonia,

    Hey Jyoti, This post is looking so good and Amazing! A very well made post with beautiful pictures. I’ve bookmarked this special recipe of yours and would love to give it a shot soon. Thanks for sharing your well prepared and presented posts. Shall look forward to your next post.
    Have a wonderful week ahead. Take care.
    Thanks & Regards, Sonia!!!

  38. rashi,

    beautiful photos and nice recipe too, i will definitely give it a try… thanks for the recipe!!

  39. Priya,

    I couldn’t believe I missed your posts – That last line explained it. I will have to subscribe to you now :)
    So glad to see you back and so sorry to hear about your losses. I have attended the funerals of those closest to me more number of times than I would ever have expected to a few years ago – My mom, grandmom, grandpa,…Always an ordeal and I wish I would just forget those memories.
    On a cheery note, the curried squash and coconut rice look fabulous.

  40. Priya,

    Joyti, is there anything wrong with the facebook icon at the top. I can’t go to your page through it.

  41. nipponnin,

    It was so fun to visit your past posts. Your photos are very sophisticated and chic. I must try the yogurt cake someday.

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