Sign up in 10 seconds Forgot your password?
English

Squash Caviar – Russian Vegetable Paste

Kabachkovaya Ikra (Squash Caviar) Russian recipe

The dish I am going to talk about today is truly to die for! I can literally eat it every single day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Seriously! It’s called Ikra in Russian which actually means fish caviar but for some reason this word also means vegetable puree or pate. Ikra can be made of different vegetables (like eggplants, pumpkin, beets and mushrooms), but the most popular one is the squash caviar.

The classic recipe of Kabachkovaya Ikra (squash caviar) was created during Soviet times. The overall food shortage made Ikra the national dish number one, as it was cheap and always available in the mostly empty stores. Thankfully the times of food deficit are in the past, but the squash caviar is still one of the most favorite foods of Russian people. My mom says that the taste of the squash caviar gives her the strong feeling of nostalgia for the Soviet periods of her life. I was born right after the fall of the Soviet Union, so my undying love to the squash caviar has no connection to any memories. It’s just about the taste which is really delicious!

Authentic squash caviar is actually made of young marrows (courgettes or zucchinis) which are widely grown in Russia, but you can use yellow squash as well. The basic ingredients for the Kabachkovaya Ikra are marrows (zucchinis), carrots, onions, tomato paste and sunflower oil.

Today squash caviar can be easily found in every Russian food-store all the year round. It has a wonderful taste and usually contains only natural preservatives, so I don’t have a reason not to buy it. But sometimes I cook my family’s favorite homemade ikra by myself, especially during the squash season. I love eating Kabachkovaya Ikra for breakfast, spreading it over a slice of rye crispy bread! Here is my recipe:


Ingredients

  • 1 carrot
  • 2 onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 chili pepper
  • 3 zucchinis
  • 4 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon apple vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Peel the onion, garlic and carrot. Remove the seeds from the chili pepper. Cut the onion into half moon slices, cut the carrot into circles, chop up the garlic and chili pepper.
  2. Slice the squash into ½-inch circles. Grease the baking sheet; lay the squash slices in a single layer.
  3. Heat oven to 400 F (200 C). Place the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
  4. Place the roasted squash into a colander, push with a spoon to remove excess liquid.
  5. While the squash is in the oven, prepare the other vegetables. In a skillet heat up the oil, add the garlic and pepper, cook over medium heat for one minute. Then add the carrot and sauté for 2 minutes.
  6. Next, add the onion, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the tomato paste, sugar, salt and vinegar, mix well and remove from heat.
  7. Puree the squash and fried vegetables with an immersion blender. Serve cold. You will get about 1.5 pint/700 ml amazing squash caviar.

Kabachkovaya Ikra recipe with step-by-step photos can be found in the recipe section. Get the recipe

P. S. This post was submitted to the Vitrual Vegan Linky Potluck from Unrefined Vegan! Join the party :) 

Posted on 30 April 2014
13 comments

Comments

Annie 28 July 2014
Looks so sunny and creamy! Thank you for sharing at the weekly Potluck!

Reply form

vegelicacy 13 August 2014
Thank you, sweet Annie!

Reply form

Samia 11 August 2014
I intend to take a crack at this, as my garden is doing well. Will be using pattypan or yellow crooknecks instead of zucchini, as I don't have any of those. Thanks.

Reply form

vegelicacy 13 August 2014
Thank you for commenting, Samia. Try yellow crooknecks, they look similar to marrows.

Reply form

Bayaraa 13 August 2014
This is exactly what I was looking for. I grew up in Mongolia - the country that borders with Russia and we were fortunate to adopt some wonderful Russian cuisines. I have been craving for ikra and now I found the recipe. Can I make the ikra with butternut squash instead of zucchini? I have a lot of butternut squashes from my garden and not quite sure what to do with them.

Reply form

vegelicacy 13 August 2014
Hey Bayaraa! I have never cook this with butternut squashes, and I believe the taste is going to be different. But why not to experiment? :) Just be aware that the butternut squashes are not as watery as courgettes, so add water if needed.

Reply form

Bayaraa 13 August 2014
Thank you for the reply and I will let you know how it turned out! Have a great day!

Reply form

Its looks yummy If I am adding some fresh fruits and vegetables purees so it will look great.

Reply form

Elena 8 February 2015
I cooked this with winter squash! And it came out real sweet and great on toast.

Reply form

vegelicacy 9 February 2015
Thank you for your feedback Elena! So glad you liked the recipe! ♥

Reply form

AJAY KUMAR 15 May 2015
how can be get ikra in india

Reply form

Andrej 8 November 2015
I look you use eggplant caviar, I would like to use caviar of a salmon. Whether as I buy it here https://www.red-caviar.com/ can use it?

Reply form

Artichoke puree 24 July 2017
A recipe very curious and interesting that I had never seen, so I see I even implement it at the Christmas dinner, I will try to see that such, have you tried to give it a touch of spice?

Reply form

Hey, my name is Vika, I am the author of Vegelicacy.com website. I am thrilled to see you in my blog where I write about my vegan culinary discoveries, life stories, ispiring thoughts and other things I want to share. ♥ Read more