Festive Jewel Rice Pumpkin


This is a beautiful dish. Perfect for the festive season or any time you’re looking for some plant based wow factor. While there may seem like a few steps, they can all easily be done in advance, leaving just the last stage of combining everything and sitting down with your guests.

Serves 6 – 8 as a main course share dish


1 small whole Jap or Kent pumpkin

3 tbsp olive oil

salt, pepper

 ½ cup pine nuts

½ cup pistachio

½ cup slivered almonds 

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup golden raisins

1 carrot, thinly sliced into matchsticks

1 tbsp sugar

 pinch salt

2 tbsp white vinegar

2 brown onions, thinly sliced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp caraway seeds

1 tbsp cumin seeds

2 cups basmati rice

pinch saffron threads

zest 1 orange

1 pomegranate, seeds removed

½ bunch coriander, finely chopped

2 cups Coco Tribe Natural Coconut Yoghurt

Pomegranate molasses to drizzle


Preheat an oven to 170c.

Cut the pumpkin in half horizontally and scoop out the seeds.

Brush with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place on a baking tray and bake for 1 hour or until soft when pierced with a knife.

Roast the nuts for 5 minutes in the oven then remove and cool.

Pour some hot water over the dried fruit and let sit for 10 minutes before draining. 

Place the prepared carrot in a small bowl and combine with the sugar, salt and vinegar. Leave for at least 15 minutes before use.

Place the rice and saffron in a small saucepan. Cover with 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, turn down, cover and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes before removing the lid and spooning the rice into a mixing bowl to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, place the slice onions, oil & spices in a small saucepan. Season and cook over a low heat for 20 minutes until soft and beginning to caramelise. Set aside.

Combine the rice with the nuts, dried fruit, onions, pickled onion, pomegranate, orange zest and coriander. Season and mix well.

Spoon the yoghurt over the roasted pumpkin halves, drizzle with pomegranate molasses the spoon the rice into the centre of the pumpkin.

Recipe created in collaboration with Tom Walton.

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