Recipe and photography: Vicki Ravlich-Horan

Pumpkin is the perfect sweet and savoury vegetable which is why it lends itself perfectly to the Moroccan flavours. These gorgeous parcels can be made vegan simply by using oil instead of butter and serving with coconut yoghurt.

Makes 4

600-750g butternut pumpkin peeled and deseeded
extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2½ tsp Ras el hanout*
¾ tsp sumac*
4 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp currants
1 tbsp pine nuts
8 sheets of filo pastry
butter or oil

Chop approximately 2 cups of the pumpkin into 1 cm cubes. Place on a baking tray and drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and finally sprinkle with the chopped rosemary. Bake at 180°C for 25 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft.
Meanwhile grate the remaining pumpkin.
Heat a little oil in a large pan then add the onion and spices. Cook on low for 3-5 minutes to develop the flavour in the spices but not colouring the onion.
Add the grated pumpkin and cook for another 2-3 minutes before adding 1½ cups of water, salt and honey. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated.
Stir in the roast pumpkin, currants and pine nuts and allow to cool.
Brush a sheet of filo pastry with butter or oil and fold in half. Repeat with a second sheet. Brush the top half on one with butter/oil and layer your second folded layer on top of this so you have a rectangle with four layers of pastry.
Place a quarter of the mixture in the middle of the pastry and then fold the edges of the pastry onto the top of the mixture making a parcel. Brush the top with more butter/oil and sprinkle with seeds or nuts of your choice before repeating with the remaining pastry and filo.
Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes. We served ours with natural yoghurt mixed with beetroot chutney.

*Sumac and Ras el hanout can be found in good food stores like Dante’s in Cambridge, Red Kitchen in Te Awamutu and Bin Inn Papamoa.

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