It’s fall! Officially pumpkin season. And no, I did not jump on the pumpkin spice latte bandwagon back in September. Pumpkins, in my personal opinion, should be enjoyed once the weather gets crisp and just a little chilly. Sweater weather, if you will. So when we were hitting 90 degree temps in September, I was still rocking my sleeveless tops and French vanilla coffee.
Sweater weather has arrived, and with it everything pumpkin flavored. I may or may not be a little obsessed, seeing that I have a plethora of pumpkin themed recipes on the blog. Some of my favorites include: BBQ and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake, Pumpkin Brownies, Pumpkin Spice Pancakes, Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cinnamon Pecans and Pumpkin Jam.
Last year, my mom made a wild rice stuffed pumpkin for a dinner party she was hosting. The recipe was given to us by my friend Raz. She swore by it and when we made the wild rice stuffed pumpkin, it did not disappoint. It also made for a great visual addition to the dinner spread. This time around, I wanted to try something similar — that is, a rice stuffed pumpkin. I ditched the wild rice and went with a mix of something Palestinian and Moroccan. I went with long grain Basmati rice, ground beef and Arabic spices for a Palestinian touch, and golden raisins and fried almonds for a Moroccan feel.
Now… who’s ready for thanksgiving?!
- 2 cups Basmati Rice
- 4 cups water, for boiling
- 3 tablespoons olive
- 1 medium Onion, chopped
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 2-3 tablespoons Seven spice
- 2-4 cardamom pods
- 1/4 tablespoons Almonds, shelled, and toasted in the oven.
- 1 medium pumpkin, cleaned and seeds removed
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Wash the rice 3-4 times, discarding the water every time. Cover with lukewarm water and set aside for 30 minutes. When ready to use, drain the water
- In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion until translucent
- To toast the almonds, place on a baking sheet and broil until lightly browned, flip and continue on the other side (about 3 minutes on each side)
- Add ground beef and cook until browned
- Spice with seven spice and salt
- Stir in the almonds until they are golden
- Add the raisins sauté until they are plump
- Stir in the rice, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick
- Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil
- Once boiling, reduce to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes (this would be a good time to get your pumpkin ready).
- When the rice has cooked for 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste
- Line a heavy duty baking sheet with aluminum foil (you can also use a roaster)
- Place the pumpkin on top in a roaster, or deep baking sheet
- Scoop the rice into the pumpkin and press lid firmly on top
- Cover the pumpkin with aluminum foil
- Bake for about 90 minutes, until the pumpkin can be pierced with a fork
- Serve warm