Pumpkin, wild rice and mint

"The chilli-tamarind caramel is something I learnt while working at the now-closed Universal," says Anchovy chef Thi Le. "It's a version of a tamarind caramel that is savoury rather than sticky-sweet, which is what makes the glaze so balanced. The mint sauce, which contains a bit of cumin, goes well with the caramel because it adds freshness and extra depth to the dish."

You'll need

220 ml vegetable oil 2 tsp wild rice 450 gm Kent pumpkin, cut into 2cm-thick wedges ¼ bunch (60gm) garlic shoots, finely chopped crossways (see note) Deep-fried shallots   Tamarind glaze 50 gm light palm sugar, crushed 1 tbsp tamarind water (see note) 1 tbsp fish sauce 1 tsp lime juice ¼ birdseye chilli, finely chopped   Mint yoghurt sauce ¼ cup (firmly packed) mint 1½ tbsp plain yoghurt 1½ tbsp crème fraîche 2½ tsp vegetable oil ½ small garlic clove, crushed 1 tsp dry-roasted cumin (see note), finely ground 1/8 tsp citric acid (see note)


  • 01
  • For deep-fried shallots, heat oil in a wok over medium heat to 120C, then reduce heat to low. Add shallots and stir continuously until golden and crisp (6-10 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  • 02
  • For tamarind glaze, cook palm sugar in a saucepan over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelised (8-10 minutes). Add tamarind water and fish sauce, then simmer over medium-high heat, stirring to incorporate (30 seconds; be careful, hot caramel will spit). Stir in lime juice and chilli, remove from heat, then add fried shallots and set aside.
  • 03
  • Heat 200ml vegetable oil in a saucepan until smoking (230C). Add wild rice and stir until puffed (5 seconds; be careful, hot oil will spit). Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, then coarsely crush with a mortar and pestle.
  • 04
  • For mint yoghurt sauce, blend ingredients with a stick blender in a slim jug until smooth. Season to taste and refrigerate until required.
  • 05
  • Preheat oven to 230C. Toss pumpkin with 1 tsp remaining oil in a roasting pan and roast until golden and tender (25-30 minutes), then reduce heat to 180C, brush pumpkin with tamarind glaze and roast until caramelised (5-8 minutes).
  • 06
  • Heat remaining oil in a wok over high heat, add garlic shoots and toss until just tender (1-2 minutes).
  • 07
  • Brush remaining glaze over pumpkin and serve topped with crushed wild rice, with mint yoghurt sauce and garlic shoots.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Additional Notes

Garlic shoots are available from Asian grocers. For tamarind water, combine 20 gm seedless tamarind pulp in a bowl with 1 tbsp boiling water, cover and stand until soft (20-30 minutes), then pass liquid through a fine sieve and discard solids. Citric acid is available from the baking section of major supermarkets.To dry-roast spices, cook the spices in a dry pan, stirring continuously over medium-high heat until they’re fragrant. The cooking time varies depending on the spices used.

Drink Suggestion

Garagiste “Le Stagiaire” Pinot Gris 2015, Mornington Peninsula – a Burgundy inspired pinot gris with plenty of texture, a slightly creamy, honeyed palate and minerally acid.

Featured in

Sep 2016

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