This lovely seasonal recipe is one I adapted a little from Australian chef Donna Hay. What I really like is that it keeps brilliantly for several days, so is a perfect recipe to prepare at the weekend for bringing to work during the week with a side of steamed greens or a mixed salad.


  • 400g pumpkin or other sort of squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 24 heirloom baby carrots
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, plus a bit more for brushing
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 300g of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked until tender, then drained or 1x400g can of cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 400g of cooked brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac, plus extra for sprinkling or if you don’t have any, use cumin or some other spice of your liking
  • 1 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 40g sesame or nigella seeds
  • labneh, a Lebanese yogurt-cheese to serve, or some goats yogurt if no
  • mint leaves and baby (micro) watercress (optional), to serve

Make It

Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the pumpkin and carrots on a large baking tray. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat all pieces completely. Roast for 20 minutes or until golden and tender.

Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and roughly mash with a fork or potato masher. Add the pumpkin, rice, lemon rind, chilli, garlic, sumac, coriander, salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Divide and shape the mixture into 2-tablespoon balls and flatten slightly. Press into the sesame seeds to coat and brush with extra oil. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and roast, turning halfway, for 20 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with extra sumac and serve with the carrots, labneh, mint and baby watercress. 

I really like to serve this with a mixed leaf salad as well for extra green veg.


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