Russian Squash Spread Recipe – Kabachkovaya Ikra or Squash Caviar

Squash spread with chips Photo

     Russian squash spread recipe we call “kabachkovaiy ikra” (кабачковая икра) or squash caviar. The recipe for the squash caviar is the Soviet cuisine recipe. It was so popular when I lived in Russia and sold in canned jars at every grocery store. It was a really good taste and a silky texture! I live in the USA and bought squash caviar a few times at Russian stores. I never found a good one, I don’t know what they change in the recipe but it does not taste as used to be… Sometimes we can see on a jar of squash spread name “zakuszka” or “zakuska”. Zakuszka (закуска)- mean dishes go very well as a bite with an alcoholic beverage. Mostly it is appetizers. Squash spread on a black bread Borodinskii is a great zakuszka!

     I saw the recipe on Russian Instagram just recently and got inspired to make it for my American part of the family to try. I was surprised, they like it. I make a small change in the original recipe. The original recipe didn’t have cognac and cinnamon but in my opinion, it adds squash caviar beautiful flavors. Another change, I cook vegetables separately because they take different time to cook and easily overcook one when others are ready.

My favorite way to eat squash spread with a toasted slice of baguette or toasted black rye Russian bread. Sometimes I give a little touch of garlic on the top of my toasted bread before adding my spread to toast. Some people like to serve with crackers.

Russian squash spread recipe Photo

The unusual name caviar in relation to squash, what is for more people is meaning  fish eggs . The root of this dish’s name is from the old Russian language. According to the S.E. Ozegov dictionary, the word caviar has 2 meanings. The first meaning is fish eggs and the second is a vegetable dish from small chopped pieces. For example, we have in Russia eggplant caviar, mushroom caviar, and beets caviar.

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1400g squash (zuccini is good too in this recipe)

700g carrot

700g onion

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons of cognac

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)

2-3 cloves of garlic

1.5 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon wine vinegar

6 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Black pepper and salt to taste

*Cognac and cinnamon is optional but make so much better taste.

Squash Spread Ingredients Photo

Garlic missing on my photo. :)

 The recipe has cinnamon, you might be interesting to read about differences between Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia. These spices from 2 different plants. The most important reason to know about is the amount of coumarin in cassia and it can possibly affect our health. You can read about on website U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I have the address on the page about cinnamon.The link below.

Recommended → Difference Between Cassia And Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks.  

Cooking Direction:

  1. Dice onion, carrot and squash. Important to keep all pieces the same size, so it will be cook the same time.

Russian Squash Spread Cut Photo

Squash Spread Carrot Photo

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2. Fry onion in 2 tablespoon vegetable oil just lightly for a few minutes. Add cognac and let evaporate liquid. Add in addition hot water, if needed. Saute by point onion will be soft and water completely evaporated.

*If you add water, be sure it evaporated compitely. We don’t need liquid in our spread.

Onion Frying Squash Spread Photo

3. Fry carrot on medium heat in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil with cinnamon and sugar.

*If need to add water ( only hot water) be sure it completely evaporated.

Photo How to make flower from carrotRecommended → Easy Carrot Garnish Ideas.

4. Fry squash in vegetable oil on medium heat. Cook squash, so not much liquid left. Add cooked squash to carrots and onions.

*Don’t add water, squash usually has enough own juice.

Vegetables Squash Spread Photo

5. Fry in vegetable oil tomato paste by point it starts darkening.

6. Add to vegetable mixture tomato paste, garlic, black pepper and salt. Pure the mixture.

*I used my immersion mixer.

Garlic tip. If you don’t know how strong your garlic is, add less than in the recipe. If you overuse amount of garlic or spices, make more squash caviar without this spices and mix it together.

Check out my 3 tips about garlic use on the bottom of this page → My OXO Garlic Press Review And Why I Like It

7. The pure needs to be boiled for 5 minutes on low heat. Stear the mixture constantly.

*The mixture is easy to burn to the bottom of the pot and do splashing, don’t leave it without attention.

Pureed squash spread Photo

8. Cool mixture off, the spread is not ready to eat yet. Add wine vinegar and leave overnight in the refrigerator.

* I use paper towel to cover inside the lid of my pot to absorb moisture, the water is going to delute the mixture and it is not good. I like to keep my squash spread in a jar.

Squash spread tip Photo

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 This spread is so good as a side dish with potato and meat or chicken. My friend likes to eat it on pasta. It is delicious on rye Russian bread Borodinskii. So many ways to eat this great dish!


Russian squash spread Photo

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