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