Spiced Rice and Squash

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Here in North America, we are blessed with many varieties of squashes. Pumpkin, butternut, and acorn squashes are mainstays. Of these, my favorite is the butternut squash and remain to this day, although there are new contenders vying for that spot now. I was reluctant to try what appeared to me as odd and weird colored squashes in the bins. That changed when I started blogging and now I sample at least one or two new varieties each year.

Last year I discovered the carnival and spaghetti squashes. This time round, I was drawn to the sweet potato squash. I really enjoyed this squash as it has a very moist and sweet flesh with a fine texture. It is by far, the sweetest squash I have ever tasted. My other choice was the buttercup squash. This is a squat, green squash resembling an upside-down acorn. It has a dark green rind with silver-grey striations. The flesh is a deep yellow-orange color and is sweet, dense, and creamy.

Instead of roasting this squash, I decided to use it in a rice dish, normally cooked with pumpkin and dried shrimps in Malaysia. To spice it up a little, I added some cumin seeds, garam masala, and coconut milk. I served this with fried eggplants and roasted pork but it can definitely stand on its own. Do give it a try.

Spiced Rice and Squash

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Spiced Rice and Squash


  • 1½ cups rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups (300g) squash, cubed (your choice of squash – buttercup, butternut, pumpkin)
  • ¼ cup (40g) dried shrimp, soaked for 10 minutes, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ cup (120ml) coconut milk
  • 1½ (360ml) cups water
  • 1 tsp salt


Heat oil in a medium sized pot. Fry dried shrimp, garlic, and cumin seeds until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in garam masala.

Add squash, and rice.

Pour in coconut milk and water. Give it a good stir to get everything well mixed. When liquid comes to a boil, add salt. Lower heat to medium, place on the lid, and allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

Reduce heat to the lowest possible setting and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat and allow rice and squash to sit for 10 minutes before serving.


Here are the other squash recipes on this blog. Just click on the picture to get to the post.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8)

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23 Responses

  1. delicious combination looks wonderful and flavourful

  2. Lyndsey says:

    Perfect! I am making this for dinner tonight. Thanks! That’s what is so great about blogging, my foodie friends come to my aid many times. One of my daily dilemmas…deciding what to have for dinner each night! :)

  3. There are a lot of squash here I think due to the Halloween. Love to cook this rice dish, looks so simple and delicious :)

    • Biren says:

      I am glad to hear that you can find many varieties of squashes in Singapore. I hope you get to try each of them as they can be quite different. :)

  4. PolaM says:

    I’m on my squash journey to! I have just discovered carnival, whihc is delciously sweet, butternut is a favorite, kaboocha is croumbly and great as a side and golden nugget is forgettable. Buttercup and sweet potates are in the pantry waiting to be examined!

  5. Love everything pumpkin! Rice looks so appetizing and tasty.

  6. What a beautiful dish! Love squash, the flavor, the color.

  7. Blackswan says:

    Wow, your Pumpkin Rice looks like what I did earlier. But it’s interesting for u to add coconut in the rice. I’m sure it tastes yummy :)

    Biren, I’d submitted my Creepy Halloween Pumpkin Treats for a Recipe Challenge. I’d appreciate a minute of your time to hop over to VOTE for my entry. Voting closes 24 Oct 2011. I thank you for your votes & appreciate your kind gesture!

  8. you can add some green bean or long bean, also very good wor!

  9. Great rice recipe. I am sure those spices mix with the squash give the rice an excellent taste. It is very similiar to a rice we cook here in the island with different spices.

    Have a great weekend :)

  10. I love all the squashes there. We can only get the evergreen ones here. I’m actually thinking to make something similar for lunch later:) Thanks for sharing Biren!

  11. Gina says:

    Hi Biren,
    This does sound wonderful and perfect for this time of year when squash are abundant our our local farm stand. I bet even more daughter would try this. Hope you are having a nice weekend.

  12. This reminds me of yam rice! Love the addition of spices.

  13. tigerfish says:

    I recently added some spiced sweet potato cubes in my rice too and enjoy the hint of sweetness that sweet potatoes/ pumpkin adds to the savory rice.

  14. Biren, I will never thought of making pumpkin spiced rice. This sounds interesting and flavorful!

  15. Such a perfect, and comforting broth with the addition of beef, and seafood. I sure love the yummy dumplings as well, to be added in the hot pot. I think this would be nice for a casual gatherings with family, and/or friends. A nice and delicious meal for this time of the year!
    Biren, your photos are amazing…so well organized!

    P.S. This is my first comment on the previous post. CAPTCHA would not let me pass comment thru…and it kept telling me later, that “you already said that, so I copied and pasted the comment from before.

    Biren, I love your rice and squash dish, so healthy and delicious!

  16. Oh this is something I’ve never made – squash with rice! YUM!!! I’m afraid I might end up way too much. With coconut milk and dried shrimp, this rice must be nice rich taste….

  1. October 31, 2011

    […] used as a vegetable in savory dishes in Malaysia. One popular dish is pumpkin rice similar to the Spiced Rice and Squash I made recently. They are also used in stir-fries and curries. I bought a perfectly shaped pie […]

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