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You can have pilaf, or you can have spiced pilaf bejewelled with cranberries, currants, apricots, chickpeas, pistachios, and almonds — with roasted pumpkin nestled in there for good measure … a no-brainer, really ;)

You will need

Serves 4

Roast pumpkin

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 pumpkin, deseeded and cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based butter (or sub 2 more tbsp olive oil)
  • 1 large brown onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 cups Basmati rice, rinsed
  • Pinch saffron, soaked in 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1/2 cup dairy-free plain yoghurt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

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15 mins to prep

40 mins to cook

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper.

  2. Step 2

    Place pumpkin wedges onto prepared baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle over cumin seeds and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast for 40 minutes or until golden and caramelised.

  3. Step 3

    For the pilaf, heat olive oil and butter (if using) together in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add onion, garlic, ground cumin, cardamom and turmeric, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until onion is soft.

  4. Step 4

    Increase heat to medium, add rice, saffron, currants, apricots and cranberries, stirring until well combined. Add stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Add in the chickpeas and stir through. Remove from heat, cover with a tea towel and stand for 10 minutes.

  5. Step 5

    Add pistachios, almonds, 1/4 cup coriander and season to taste.

  6. Step 6

    To make the dressing, mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, stirring until combined.

  7. Step 7

    Divide pilaf between four plates, top each with roasted pumpkin, drizzle over dressing and scatter remaining coriander on top.

Recipe: Fiona Roberts Food

Photography: Rainbow Nourishments

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