These are lovely sweet and smoky squash lollipops. Don’t worry if they brown or blacken while cooking: this is where the good flavors lurk. These are great served in chapatis (see here) with salad, and cucumber and mint raita (here). To make proper seekh kebabs you’ll need either wooden or metal skewers.

    Makes 8 skewers

    1 medium butternut squash (1¼ pounds)
    canola oil
    1 x 14-ounce can of chickpeas, drained
    1¾-inch piece of ginger, peeled
    3 cloves of garlic
    2 Indian green chiles
    1/3 cup breadcrumbs
    ½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
    2 teaspoons garam masala
    1½ teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

    Preheat the oven to 3500F and line a baking pan with foil.

    Peel the squash, halve it, and scoop the seeds out using a spoon. Cut the flesh into 1¾-inch chunks. Coat with a tablespoon of oil and roast in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes until soft, then remove from the oven to cool.

    Pulse the cooled squash in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients except the butter. If you don’t have a food processor, mash the chickpeas and squash together, mince the ginger, garlic, and chiles, and stir in the other ingredients.

    Separate the mixture into 8 balls. Roll one between your palms, then shape the mixture around the skewer to make a kebab around 4 inches long. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

    To cook, heat a small pat of butter and a teaspoon of oil in the frying pan. When it starts to foam, put 4 skewers into the pan (or as many as will fit). Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until lovely and brown, turning every minute or so. Cook the rest and serve.