roast capsicum

sambar roast pumpkin soup

2nd August 2009


 While I have been defending my broccoli crop, my in-laws have also been battling with their own enemy, the possum.  They won their war and produced a magnificent crop of sweet, Kent pumpkins.  Perfect on their own roasted with a splash of olive oil, but even tastier as a soup with roasted sweet capsicums, baby carrots and tomatoes, dal and sambar powder.  I picked up the brightly coloured mini capsicums from the Farmer’s Markets, and they were just crying out to be roasted.  My initial plan was to use them in a roast vegetable dish, but as I am going away to the beach for two weeks, I ran out of time and they had to be used up.


roasted pumpkin & mini capsicum soup with sambar


500g pumpkin, peeled and cut in pieces

9 mini or small sweet capsicums, whole (mine were about 10cm in length)

1 bunch baby carrots, whole with tops cut off

20 cherry tomatoes, whole

½ cup split moong dal/red lentils

4 cups water

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp ghee/olive oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 whole red chilli, fresh or dried

2cm piece fresh ginger, finely grated

1 – 2 tsp sambar powder (I used 2 tsp of the MTR brand from Indian stores, use less if prefer a mild spice flavour)

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 Tbsp dried shredded coconut

1 Tbsp coconut sugar or 2 tsp palm sugar

salt to taste


1.  Preheat oven to 200C.

2.  Place pumpkin and whole capsicums on a baking paper-lined tray and the carrots and tomatoes on another.  Roast in oven until capsicums blacken slightly – about 30 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile bring dal, water and turmeric to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.

4.  Remove roasted vegetables from oven, deseed, peel and dice capsicum and chop carrots into small pieces.

5.  Add roasted vegetables to dal and continue to simmer for a further 15 minutes or until all vegetables are soft, then puree the soup before adding the following spice mixture.

7.  Heat ghee/olive oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds; when seeds turn grey and pop, add chilli, ginger, cumin and sambar powder then add this mixture to soup along with the coconut and coconut sugar.

8.  Add salt to taste.  When ready to serve, remove whole chilli and serve with yoghurt if desired.


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