Recipe: Spicy pepita seasoning

Pepitas are the Spanish name for pumpkin seeds and are used to make the Mexican dish Pipían. This recipe uses rosemary, dried limes and chilli flakes to add a herbal, spicy and fruity flavour to this version of pepita seasoning. Give it a try on grilled pork chops, crab cakes and perhaps use for a different take on egg fried rice.



150g of pepitas (husked green pumpkin seeds)

2 dried limes (This adds a sour, and slightly nutty flavour. You can find these at an East Indian/Arabian store)

6 cloves of garlic

1 onion, sliced into chunks

2 red bell peppers

3 tablespoons of rosemary leaves

2 tablespoons of chilli flakes

Salt, to taste

3 tablespoons of olive, or any other cooking, oil



Roast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan or oven tray for around 5-7 minutes, or until they are golden and make a ‘popping’ sound, like popcorn. Rub a little oil over the onion chunks and peppers. Roast until the onions are a deep golden colour and the peppers have a wrinkled and slightly charred skin. Blitz the cooled down pumpkin seeds in a coffee grinder/food processor. After halving the dried limes and de-seeding them, do the same with the lime. Empty all contents into a bowl.

Meanwhile, strip the rosemary leaves and heat oil in a pan. Add the rosemary, crushed garlic and chilli flakes to a pan of hot oil and for around 3 minutes, allowing the oil, herbs and garlic to infuse together. Add this to the bowl with the seeds and lime powder.

Prepare the peppers, scraping the skin away with a butter knife – it should slip off easily! Add this to a food processor, and pulse until you have an almost smooth paste. Don’t worry if there are a few chunky bits! Add this to the ground seeds, stir and season to taste. This seasoning is now ready to use, and keeps for up to 6 weeks in the fridge. Use for stews, sandwiches, salads, over fried eggs or anything that may lend itself to a spicy pepita seasoning. Enjoy!

By Khadine Seville, editor of Mariposaoro’s Blog

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