This dish was a big hit with my family the very first time that I made it.  It is colorful, tasty and not hard to make.  The key is the presentation, to top off this hot dish with some cool yogurt sweetened with honey. Ingredients: 1 small butternut squash, about 1 ½ pounds 1 can 15 ounces chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry and air dried to reduce moisture 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped 2 tablespoons garam masala, or substitute a combination of ground spices: cinnamon, cloves, cumin & coriander ½ - ¾ cup Greek yogurt 1-2 teaspoons honey 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped; may substitute mint or parsley leaves ¼ - ½  cup pomegranate seeds; may substitute dried cranberries, raisins or diced red pepper Wash then roast the squash in a large flat pan in a 425 degree oven for about 50-60 minutes.  It may weep out some water as it roasts, so that’s why I use a wide flat pan.  Test for doneness by seeing if you can stick a fork into it easily. Remove the squash from the oven and cool it in the pan on top of a wire rack until it is cool enough to handle.  The squash has so much moisture in it that it holds heat very well and may not be cool to the touch until 30-45 minutes have passed. While the squash is cooking and cooling you can whisk together the yogurt and honey and chill it all in a bowl until ready to use. To prepare the cooled squash, cut off the ends and split the squash once lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds and discard them.  Then tear or cut the squash into medium-large pieces, about 1-2 inches each.  When cooled, it will be easy to slip off all the skin as you do this.  Discard all the skin too. Prepare the chickpeas, perhaps while the squash is roasting.  After rinsing and draining the chickpeas you must pat them dry and spread them out on a paper towel-covered flat pan to dry.  You will be frying them to a crisp so they need to be dry.  Any excess moisture will cause them to steam in the skillet and then wilt and not get crispy.  A large skillet must be used so as not to crowd the chickpeas.  Moisture will steam out from the heated chickpeas and keep them from browning and crisping.  A large pan will give room for the moisture to evaporate between the chickpeas without steaming and wilting them. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy skillet or large frying pan on medium-high heat.  Fry the chickpeas, turning or shaking often as not to burn them.  Cook until they start to brown and crisp in about 5-10 minutes, depending on your heat and the type of pan you are using.  Add the onion to the pan and cook just until the onion turns translucent, about another 5 minutes.  Add the garam masala and stir until well combined and fragrant.  Remove and reserve. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil until nearly smoking and add the squash pieces to the same hot skillet.  Cook the squash pieces without turning them for about 5 minutes, then turn over and brown the other sides thoroughly.  When the squash is browned you can assemble this dish either in the skillet to serve directly or else in a serving dish.  Place the squash in first, then distribute the cooked chickpeas all over the squash.  Sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds and cilantro leaves then top it off with several dollops of the yogurt mixture and serve!
Spiced Chickpeas with Roasted Butternut Squash
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