roasted pumpkin palya

25th October 2015


from garden to table…

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There is something about the shape and colour of a pumpkin in their round jolly state, glowing bright and light amongst the blackened droopy leaves and tangled stems, that makes you smile.

Particularly now, after being absent from the garden for three weeks, attending our yearly yoga retreat in India.  I came back full of calm and brightness to a garden that had too many dreary wet days, causing the tomato and zucchini plants to melt, far too early in the season.  The sight of not one, two, but three, bright balls of sunshine ignited hope and light into a neglected garden.  They had survived a long absence, a storm and a take-over of zillions of snails.


pumpkin palya

Inspired by Sandya’s place in Mysore.

serves 4


1 kg pumpkin, peeled & chopped 

4 Tbsp ghee – divided

1 red/60g capsicum, finely chopped


1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tbsp split channa dal

1 tsp split urad dal

¼ tsp asafoetida powder

6 – 8 fresh curry leaves

2 Tbsp dried coconut

salt to taste

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped


1.  Preheat the oven 210 C/410 F. Line a rimmed baking tray with baking paper.

2. Wash the pumpkin, peel and chop into 1½ cm pieces.  Place in a bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons ghee, toss until well coated, then place on the baking tray in the oven to roast until soft and golden brown around the edges, approximately 30 – 40 minutes.

prepare the voggarane

3.  In a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat, add remaining ghee and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the channa and urad dal – fry until both dals are golden-brown, then add the asafoetida and curry leaves – fry for a few seconds, swishing the pan around for the spices to fry evenly.

4.  Add the capsicum and fry for 2 – 3 minutes.

5.  Turn off the heat, add the coconut and roasted pumpkin. Mix well, season with salt and sprinkle with coriander when serving.

Serve with chapati, dosa or your favourite grain dish.


Goodness shared from Stacey

vegetable barley ginger soup with lemon thyme

7th December 2014


A soup to warm your hands and to strengthen your courage…

We can do anything if we sit with intention, just holding it in our thoughts, our hearts and lifting it up with LOVE, LIGHT, JOY, PEACE and COURAGE.

There are no limits to what we can do…..try it!


vegetable barley ginger soup with lemon thyme

Serves 4 – 6

Inspired by Noa.

If I am out of home-made vegetable stock, I add the rind end of a wedge of parmesan – it adds a savoury, salty flavour to the soup.  This recipe also called for 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced – I tend not to eat mushrooms, so I left them out. But if you like the deep earthy flavour of mushrooms, add them to the soup with the vegetables.


2 Tbsp olive oil

2 stalks/150g celery

3 Tbsp/30g fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 stick of kombu

1 fresh bay leaf

1 medium/300g sweet potato or pumpkin

2 medium/170g carrots

a large wedge cabbage (200g)

⅓ cup/70g whole barley

10 cups/2½ L vegetable stock or water

1 bunch/15g lemon thyme

1 bunch/30g each fresh parsley and dill

Extra parsley, dill and chard/kale

2 tsp rock salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper


1.  Finely chop the celery, wash and peel the remaining vegetables, then cut into generous chunks so that they do not break up in the cooking.

2.  In a heavy-based saucepan, heat the olive oil, then add the celery, ginger, turmeric, kombu and bay leaf – saute until all are coated.

3.  Add the remaining vegetables, barley and pour in the water so that the vegetables are covered.

4.  Tie up tightly the lemon thyme, parsley and dill and place on top, bring to the boil and turn down the heat  – simmer covered for 1 hour.

5.  Remove the bunch of lemon thyme, parsley and dill and discard.

6.  Add the salt and freshly ground pepper, roughly chop a handful of fresh parsley, dill and chard/kale and stir this into the soup.

7.  Using a potato masher, press down a few times to break up the vegetables – allow to sit for 5 minutes before tasting – adding extra seasoning where needed.

Serve with a drizzling of olive oil and extra cracked pepper.

Goodness shared from Stacey

chickpea sambar with pumpkin and celery

1st December 2013


I love Autumn

 and I am taking every opportunity to relish in its rain and

vibrant green,

the early morning dew and it’s amazing,



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It is enough. 


I am enough.

chickpea sambar with pumpkin and celery

When I make this to serve with dosa, I leave out the dal and add another cup of chickpeas, as the lessened water makes it a thick consistency for dosa.


1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 Tbsp ginger, finely chopped 

1 cup ripe tomatoes, finely chopped

3 cardamom pods

¼ cup moong dal/red lentils, well rinsed

2 stalks celery

2 medium carrots

1 cup pumpkin, finely chopped

1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar

½ tsp tamarind paste

1 tsp rock salt

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

sambar-coconut paste

1 – 2 tsp Sambar powder, moderately spiced

¼ cup dried shredded coconut

1 cup water


1 Tbsp ghee

1 tsp black mustard seeds

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

10 fresh curry leaves


1.   Drain the chickpeas and bring them to the boil in a deep pot of water – simmer for a 1 – 2 hours or until soft.

2.  Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed pot, when hot, add the turmeric, ginger and tomatoes, lightly crush the cardamom pods and stir them in.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning – the liquid from the tomatoes keeps everything moist.

3.  Add the dal, celery, carrots, pumpkin and drained chickpeas along with 3 cups water, bring to boil, then turn down heat and simmer uncovered until dal is soft – 20 minutes.

prepare the sambar-coconut paste

4.  Place in a blender, the coconut and sambar powder with 1 cup water, blend into a smooth paste -1 minute.

5.  Add to dal and swish the blender clean using the liquid from the dal.

prepare the voggarane

6.  In a small pan, heat ghee, add the mustard seeds; when they turn grey and pop, add asafoetida, fry for a few seconds then add the curry leaves – fry until fragrant.

7.  Add to sambar, stir in the tamarind paste, jaggery, salt and coriander leaves. Taste, adding more tamarind, jaggery or salt, if needed.

Serve with brown basmati or in winter, whole barley.  Drizzle lavishly with ghee.  Serve with a lemon-dressed green, leafy salad with steamed broccoli and a sprinkling of sesame and pumpkin seeds.


Goodness shared from Stacey

pumpkin & capsicum roasted in a cheese pie

16th August 2009


One of our last night’s dinner was a three-way contribution from Ahal and us.  Once again, Ahal came to the table with an impressive collection of three dishes.  Couscous and mushroom baked parcels; a tomato, basil and mozzarella platter and the all-important dessert.  This was the highlight. A mascarpone cheesecake, topped with strawberries and cream on a coconut base.  Very light as in sponge-like, but flourless. Unfortunately that recipe is not up for discussion or sharing…..not even for us, well, not yet anyway.  We are still pleading, begging, bribing…….Yes, it is that good!


So, we shall offer the roast pumpkin and cheese filo pie, a variation of this spinach pie.


roast pumpkin & capsicum feta pie


½ medium-sized pumpkin, cut in cubes

2 whole red capsicums (sweet peppers)

olive oil

sesame seeds

6 eggs

¼ tsp nutmeg

150g crumbly, tasty cheddar cheese, grated/crumbled (I use Mersey Valley Original)

250 g feta, crumbled

¼ cup cream (optional)

cup pine nuts

freshly ground black pepper

9 sheets filo pastry


1.  Preheat oven to 200C.  Grease an oblong ovenproof glass/ceramic dish.

2.  Toss cubed pumpkin with a generous splash of olive oil, a good sprinkling of sesame seeds and nutmeg.  Spread evenly on a baking paper-lined tray and roast in oven until lightly browned and tender – about 20 – 30 minutes, turn once during roasting.  At the same time, place whole capsicums (peppers) on alfoil on bottom tray in the oven.

3.  Once the pumpkin is cooked and capsicums blackened, remove from oven to let cool.  Place hot capsicums in a plastic bag.  When cool, peel, deseed and dice capsicums.

4.  In a large bowl, whisk eggs, nutmeg and pepper, then add cheeses and pine nuts and mix well.  Stir in pumpkin and diced capsicum.

5.  Line dish with filo sheets, laying 2 widthways across, then 1 lengthways, repeating this layering twice more.  Brush olive oil/ghee between layers.

6.  Pour in the mixture, spreading evenly.  Tuck in edges to create a border.  Brush edges with olive oil/ghee and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.

7.  Bake in a preheated oven (180C) for 30 – 40 minutes or until set.  Let sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting into slices.

Goodness shared from Donna

spicy pumpkin lentil soup

14th June 2009

A cold snap has just hit in the last few days, not only climatically but also throughout my body.  A pot of Spicy Pumpkin Lentil soup was required.  Packed with spices to warm the soul and body. Pumpkin, carrots, fennel and tomatoes added for substance and a quick puree for a thicker, smooth result. I personally like the smooth, blended soups. Pure goodness in a bowl.  It was enough to clear the head, if only for a short while.


spicy pumpkin lentil soup

I like to use the brightest coloured pumpkin I can find as it gives better flavour and colour. I used Jap, but any other brightly coloured varieties will do. The fennel was an add-in as I recently picked the bulb from my garden to roast and had half of it left, so completely optional.  The rasam powder can be purchased from Indian speciality stores. I use an MTR brand, about A$2.50 for 200g packet.  It is a Southern Indian spice mix – a discovery from my sister who purchases it fresh from Mysore in India and uses it in her Dahls. The best pan for toasting the spices also comes from India, once again, courtesy of my sister. It is 15cm in diameter and has a rounded base, though not sure what it is called. Perfect size and also great for nuts.  Oh, and don’t be put off by the number of ingredients.


 1kg diced pumpkin

2 diced carrots

2 -3 diced tomatoes

½ fennel bulb, diced (optional)

1 cup rinsed red lentils

4 cups vegetable stock

1 tsp turmeric

6 curry leaves

2 tsp. ghee or olive oil

1 tsp black mustard seeds

2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger

1 whole cardamom pod

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp rasam powder

1 tsp tamarind paste

1 Tbsp raw sugar


1.  Add the first 8 ingredients into large heavy- based pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are soft.

2.  Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat ghee/olive oil over med-high heat. Add mustard seeds and wait till pop and turn grey.  Stir occasionally. Turn off heat, add ginger and remainder of spices and stir through. Let sit for about a minute or two.

3.  Add spice mixture to pot with tamarind paste and sugar. Turn heat off and rest until ready to serve.  Remove curry leaves and cardamom pod and puree if desired.

4.  Salt to taste and serve with a dollop of yoghurt/labne.

Goodness shared from Donna

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