GhapamaMonday, June 20, 2022
- 3 small pie pumpkins or one larger pumpkin
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 ¼ cup dried fruit e.g. raisins, cranberries, diced apricots, diced dates
- 1 finely chopped large green apple
Wash the outside of the pumpkin(s) and cut the lids out in a starburst shape (for a tighter fitting lid and pretty presentation) or just in a plain circle. Then, clean out all the pulp, seeds and stringy fibers and rinse the inside out.
Pre-cook the basmati rice. First rinse therice under cool water in a fine mesh sieve. Then add the rice with 2 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt to a pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until about half-way done. Then remove the rice from heat and drain and reserve the cooking liquid. Place the rice in a large bowl to cool down quickly and allow enough room to stir in remaining ingredients.
Chop the apricots, dates or any other dried fruit that you are using in addition to the raisins and dried cranberries. Also core and dice up a green apple.
Melt the butter and honey together on low heat in a small saucepan.
Lightly coat the insides of the pumpkin(s) with approximately 1 tablespoon of the honey butter mixture. Pour the remaining honey butter mixture into the rice and stir. Then add the dried fruit, nuts and cinnamon to the bowl and toss until combined.
Fill the pumpkins or pumpkin with the rice mixture. Loosely pack the mixture into the pumpkins until it nearly fills the brim. Pour the reserved cooking liquid (from the rice) on top of each filled pumpkin (trying to distribute evenly). You can add 2-4 tablespoons water to each pumpkin if you don't think you have enough cooking liquid to finish cooking the rice.
Secure the pumpkins lids on each pumpkin and then place the pumpkins on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Lightly spray the outside of each pumpkin with cooking spray to give the pumpkins a glossy finish. Bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1-1 ½ hours, or until the pumpkin flesh is soft. (You can test by gently poking it after about 50 minutes of baking and see if the flesh gives a little.)
To serve, cut vertically all around the pumpkin and serve a piece of the pumpkin along with a scoop of filling.