Curried Squash Fries with Spicy Ketchup

Greetings readers! I am blogging today from home since work was cancelled because of the hurricane. I hope you are all dry and safe and have power. We’ve been quite lucky so far (fingers crossed). As much as it’s nice to have a day off, I’m feeling a little stir crazy already.

It’s no secret that I am OBSESSED with squash. It is one of my favorite things about fall. Tasty squash is healthy, local and so simple to prepare. Stuck inside on this rainy, hurricane soaked afternoon I had a brainwave: Could I make fries out of squash?

I am a fry-oholic. I love fries of all varieties. I especially love sweet potato fries. I like to delude myself into believing that sweet potato fries are a healthier option. If they are oven baked, then they probably are, however most served in restaurants are deep fried. I had to find a way to make a healthier version. Because sometimes you just NEED fries, amiright?

Turns out you can make awesome fries with squash. Like sweet potatoes, squash makes for some really tasty oven fries. A 4oz serving of delicata squash has only 30 calories and a serving of acorn squash has only 44 calories. Compare this to a 4oz serving of sweet potato which has 96 calories So, in theory – squash fries are a slam dunk, right?

Well. I am happy to report that squash fries are super delicious. However, this took a bit of work and some trial and error to figure out how to do it right. Thrown right in the oven, they were a soggy mess, so I tried a few different methods and found a way to maximize crispness. I seasoned these fries with a dash of curry powder, which was a great way to add flavor without overpowering the tasty, creamy squash. Then I made some kicked up ketchup with cayenne, tumeric and coriander.

Ever tried to make some sweet potato fries in the oven and been disappointed with how soggy they came out? This is the same conundrum with squash. I did some internet research to get to the bottom of this. Turns out potatoes have a lower water content and higher starch content than sweet potatoes. And, in turn, sweet potatoes have a lower water content and higher starch content than squash.

Tips for crispy fries:

1. Soak the cut fries in salted water for at least an hour. I have no scientific reason as to why this works, but it does. The soaked batches crisped much better than the unsoaked batches.

2. Space fries at least 1″ apart on all sides. Overcrowding leads to sogginess

3. Flip fries halfway through the cooking time. Unfortunately, this has to be done by hand. Be careful cause they’re hot.

4. Cook fries on a cooling rack. That way air circulates around them as they cook.

5. If you don’t have a cooling rack or (like me) only own a small one, cook the fries on parchment paper. Again, I have no explanation for this except it works. The batch I baked on tin foil did not come out well.

6. Pat fries completely dry before tossing with olive oil. Get rid of all excess water or else they will steam rather than bake in the oven.

You MUST give these fries a try. They are a low calorie fix for when you are really craving some salty fried goodness. Simple to make, they require a little TLC for crispiness but it is soo worth the effort. Serve with anything, but especially turkey burgers and sandwiches. You can dip them in anything you like and each serving of fries has ONLY 75 calories! Yum yum!

NOTE: You could use any other type of squash for these fries, butternut and acorn are more widely available and would work nicely. I chose delicata because it’s my favorite and you can eat the skin, which made for really nice fries. If using another type of squash, peel before chopping.

 
Author: Dara
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 large delicata squash (approx 1lb), washed, seeded and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/3 cup of ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • parchment paper
  • 1 gallon sized ziplock bag
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Soak fries in water for at least an hour
  3. Pat fries completely dry
  4. Place fries in a gallon sized Ziplock container
  5. Add olive oil and curry powder to the bag
  6. Shake until the fries are evenly coated with oil and curry powder
  7. Arrange fries on a parchment lined cookie sheet approx 1″ apart
  8. Bake for 15 minutes
  9. Flip all the fries over and then bake another 15 minutes
  10. To make the ketchup, whisk together ketchup, cayenne, turmeric and coriander.
  11. Serve fries hot with ketchup

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13 Responses to Curried Squash Fries with Spicy Ketchup

  1. Lori Lynn October 30, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    Hi Dara ~ those fries look fabulous! And your spices sound perfect. You know, we are fans of squash too. I hope you have a chance to visit our Cooking Group’s Squash Makeover at Natasha’s blog http://www.fivestarfoodie.com/2012/10/5-star-makeover-october12-squash.html
    Stay safe during that crazy storm!
    LL

  2. Colleen @ Culinary Colleen October 31, 2012 at 12:06 am #

    Great tips! I’ve attempted baked sweet potato fries but they usually come out a little soggy. I think I’m not spacing them out enough…

  3. Jenn and Seth October 31, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    i never thought to make fries out of squash, sounds PERFECT! and i love the seasonings you used here, so delicious!

  4. mjskit November 1, 2012 at 2:36 am #

    You sold me! Sweet potato fries are the best, so I’d love to try these.

  5. CCU November 1, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

    Oh wow these sound absolutely stunning my friend :D
    Squash is so versatile :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  6. Nami | Just One Cookbook November 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    I love the word – a fry-oholic!! Me too… I try not to eat often and too much, but Japanese has some good fried food that I do not mind frying and do not mind eating them… THese squash fries look so good! I must try this!

  7. Tiffany the Dietitian November 3, 2012 at 3:45 am #

    Mmmm, these fries look good. And yes, there are days when you just need to eat fries. I love that you made them healthier. Thanks for sharing!

  8. All That I'm Eating November 4, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    This is a great idea for squash! I love it with the ketchup too.

  9. lisaiscooking November 4, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Squash fries sounds great! I love baked sweet potato fries, but, yes, they’re never crisp enough. Can’t wait to try these tips for both sweet potatoes and squash.

  10. charlotte November 6, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    the salted water might draw out some fluids by osmosis perhaps?
    anyway, sounds like a great idea! thanks for the post!

    • Dara November 7, 2012 at 2:20 am #

      Great idea Charlotte!Science is not my strong suit…

  11. Liz March 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    Realize i’m several months late to the party but is there a recipe for spicy ketchup around? Or just, like, mix some Heinz with sriracha?

    • Dara March 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

      Hi Liz. The spicy ketchup recipe is in the text of the full recipe. You mix together some spices (tumeric, cayenne) with regular ketchup. Sriracha would work as well.

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