Pumpkin atchar

Pumpkin atchar

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  • 2 x 500ml jars, plus extra for tasting
  • Easy
  • Vegan recipe collection
  • 20 minutes, plus overnight to marinate
  • 40 minutes


  • 1 kg pumpkin, cubed
  • 1 T crushed cumin seeds
  • 1 T crushed aniseed
  • 2-3 t plus 1/2 cup olive oil, plus extra to top up jars
  • 1 1/2 t fine salt
  • 4 t finely ground corlander seeds
  • 1 1/2 T finely ground fennel seeds
  • 1 T medium masala mix or curry powder of your choice
  • 2 Thai lemon leaves, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups white-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 T whole yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 T whole brown mustard seeds
  • 2 t chopped fresh chilli or 1 dried chilli flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 green curry leaves

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the pumpkin cubes in a roasting pan, sprinkle with the crushed cumin and aniseed and drizzle with the 2–3 t olive oil (turn the cubes over to coat them evenly with the spices and oil).

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is cooked but still holds its shape. Combine the salt, finely ground coriander, fennel and cumin seeds, the masala or curry powder and Thai lemon leaves.
Sprinkle over the cooked pumpkin, carefully turning the cubes to coat them evenly.

Leave to marinate for 10 to 12 hours. Place the vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and boil until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour the pickling sauce over the pumpkin cubes. In another frying pan, heat the remaining ½ cup olive oil, add the yellow and brown mustard seeds and cook until the mustard seeds start to pop.

Add the chillies, garlic and curry leaves and cook for a further two minutes. Pour the mixture over the pumpkin, stir carefully and allow to cool completely.
Bottle in sterilised jars and top up with olive oil to cover.

Cook’s note: You can also add a thickening agent, such as arrowroot, to the pickling sauce, but this is optional.
This recipe was created by Mariana Esterhuizen,  the owner-chef of Mariana's Home Deli and Bistro in Stanford. You can call her on (028) 341 0272 if you have any queries about this recipe.

Mariana Esterhuizen Recipe by: Mariana Esterhuizen
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