Monday, 17 October 2011

Pumpkiny chilli with saffron rice

If you’re holding a Halloween party or heading out to watch some fireworks, it’s nice to make this chilli ahead, spoon into small, scooped out pumpkins and place in a low oven to warm until you’re ready to eat. Make sure that the pumpkins are sitting on trays, just in case they bubble over. Serves 4.


A small piece of root ginger, grated

3 Garlic cloves, chopped

1 Red chilli, chopped (remove seeds if you don’t want it too hot)

1 Star anise

1 Large onion, finely chopped

1tsp Fennel seeds

500g Minced beef

1 Tin of chopped tomatoes

400ml Beef stock

2tsp Paprika

1tsp Ground cumin

1 Tin of kidney beans

A large handful of chopped mushrooms

200g pumpkin, cut into small cubes

Cayenne pepper

Chopped parsley

Feta cheese, to serve


240g Basmati rice

A pinch of saffron strands

1 Soften the ginger, garlic and chilli in a pan with the star anise, then stir in the onion and fennel seeds. After a few minutes add the mince; once it has browned get the mushrooms on the scene.

2 Pour in the chopped tomatoes and stock, then stir in the pumpkin and kidney beans. Season, then finally add the paprika and cumin before simmering for a good 20-25 minutes. If your chilli’s a bit on the mild side sprinkle some Cayenne in for extra fire.

3 To make the saffron rice, first rinse the rice a few times in luke warm water to get rid of some of the starch. Cover the rice in a pan with cold water (so that the level is approximately 1cm above the rice), sprinkle in the saffron and place on a medium heat. Avoid the temptation to stir. When the water has reached a fast bubble, turn down to low for 5 minutes. You’re on the right track if little holes start appearing on the surface of the rice. Kill the heat and put a lid on the pan; fluff the rice occasionally with a fork.

4 Just before serving, stir some chopped parsley into the chilli. Serve with feta cheese crumbled on top.


  1. What a delicious (and gorgeous-looking) idea!

  2. This looks amazing!

  3. Mmmm perfect for bonfire night.

  4. Thanks guys! Gotta get a bit of spice into the mix now the nights are getting colder...

  5. Lovely, simple idea, but with rather more appeal than most along these lines. One I'm going to make :)