1½ cups white basmati rice, rinsed well and drained
4 cardamom pods, bruised
4 tablespoons butter or ghee
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 onion, finely diced
small handful of fresh curry leaves
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups finely diced pumpkin, cut into approx 1cm cubes
juice of ½ lemon
toasted cashews and coriander leaves, to serve

To me nothing screams ‘vibrant’ more than turmeric. Whether you use the fresh root or readily available ground turmeric, its yellow hue and earthy flavour add vibrancy to any dish. I’ve used butternut pumpkin (squash) in this dish as I find it holds its shape when cooked a little better than some other varieties, but Japanese pumpkin would also work great.


1.Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the rinsed rice and cardamom pods and boil for 7 minutes, uncovered.
2.Drain in a fine sieve, then return to the pan, cover with a tight-fitting lid and set aside for 15 minutes before fluffing up with a fork.
3.Meanwhile, heat the butter or ghee in a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat.
4.Add the mustard seeds and cook until they start to pop.
5.Add the onion, curry leaves, chilli and cinnamon stick and cook, stirring often, for 5-8 minutes or until tender and just starting to colour.
6.Add the turmeric and ground cumin, stir and cook for a further 30 seconds.
7.Add the pumpkin, ¼ cup water and a good pinch of salt, stir, cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is just tender.
8.Remove the lid and continue to cook for a further 1-2 minutes to allow some of the moisture to evaporate.
9.Gently stir through the cooked rice, squeeze over the lemon juice and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve hot topped with toasted cashews and coriander leaves.

Recipes, food styling & photography Emma Galloway

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