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Fall is definitely in the air on the East Coast, and the hellish temperatures of the West are starting to wane. My garden has gone through it’s first season in Maryland, and I am pleasantly pleased! Last year, I harvested seeds from a Sugar Pie Pumpkin I bought from a local market. I planted it in the ground around June 24th, 2020, two of them have ripened and have been enjoyed at our table. One of which was used in today’s Fattah recipe.
The abundance of winter squash in the grocery stores, farm stands, and farmer’s markets is unavoidable, so let’s give in, shall we? Plus, this stuff is a great addition to your diet. They have the cancer-preventing anti-oxidants, complex carbohydrates, and are a great source of potassium. They have twenty times more potassium than a banana!
How To Process A Pumpkin
These are the ingredients we’ll be using for our roasted, spiced pumpkin, and as you can see, it’s a fresh pumpkin. That can be intimidating for some, so I’ve put together some step-by-step photos to de-mystify the process. First, that stem is hard, so it’s a good idea to cut it off and get rid of it. Then, cut the gourd in half length-wise.
Scoop out the seeds with a large, rigid serving spoon, and cut into wedges. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin off of each wedge. Believe me, it’s much easier to do it this way, than fumbling around with half of a slippery pumpkin. Some may opt to roast this whole, and then toss in spices, but I wanted to keep the rigidity of the cubes in-tact for service. Had we roasted it in halves, the pumpkin would have turned to mush in a heartbeat.
Once the wedges are peeled, you may need to slice it down the middle again to get 1/2 – 1 inch pieces. Do that, and voila! The whole process takes little more than 5 minutes. Perfect to warm your oven up as you do this.
This Spiced Pumpkin Fall Fattah recipe is not only inspired by the season and it’s bounty, but my newfound experience with Egyptian food. Before moving to the East Coast, I knew nothing.
When we arrived to go house hunting in Maryland, our amazing real estate agent made a list of vegan-friendly restaurants for us. Koshary by Misteka was on that list. It sounded so intriguing, so that was the first place we went. I was floored not only with how amazing the food was, but the fact that they used whole ingredients, and I didn’t have to ask what was vegan and what wasn’t. Besides that, the owner, Iman, was so incredibly kind, knowledgeable about her food, and took the time to educate us on the inner workings of the koshary bowl.
Misteka Foods Signature Tomato Sauce
Not only does Iman have her own restaurant, she also makes incredible sauces that you can take home to make your own creations, her Signature Tomato Sauce being one of them. It’s a rich tomato sauce that is vegan and gluten free, and utterly delicious. In my quest to learn even more about Egyptian food, I settled on creating a Fattah recipe. It’s a Middle Eastern dish that is designed to use up leftover pita bread and rice, and varies by region. The Lebanese version has a yogurt sauce, while the Egyptian version has a tomato sauce.
Instead of the meat that traditionally is used in a dish such as this, I opted for the spiced & roasted pumpkin. Consider it a vegan wink & nod to the season, as the beautiful centerpiece that fills 6 hungry bellies.
You can purchase Misteka Foods Signatures Tomato Sauce in 32 ounce jars for $13.85 through her website, under Sauce and Dressings. Other sauces are available as well. This sauce needs to be refrigerated, so it’s available locally in and around Clarksville, MD. Bring back your glass jar for $1.00 off your next sauce!
You can find Koshary by Misteka on the following social channels:
Spiced Pumpkin Fall Fattah
Branching out into a cuisine you may not be familiar with is thrilling and exciting! The spiced pumpkin pairs beautifully with Misteka Foods Signature Tomato Sauce, and brings a delicious slice of Egypt to your plate!
For The Roasted Pumpkin
- 1 Whole Fresh Sugar Pumpkin Cubed into ½” pieces (about 4 cups)
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ Teaspoon Cardamom
- ½ Teaspoon Granulated Garlic
- 1 Teaspoon Sugar
For The Fattah
- 2 Cups Jasmine Rice
- 2 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
- 3 Cups Water
- 1½ Teaspoons Salt
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 5 Small Pita Breads Cut into 1” squares
- 4 Cups Misteka Foods Signature Tomato Sauce or one 32 ounce Jar
- 10 Fresh Mint Leaves
- ½ Cup Fresh Pomegranate Arils
Preheat the oven to 400℉, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Place Signature Tomato Sauce in a medium pot over low heat, stirring occasionally, to slowly re-heat as we prepare the remaining components of the dish.
To process the fresh pumpkin, cut the stem off with a large knife, then cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds, and cut the pumpkin into wedges about 1-2 inches thick. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off, and then finish cubing the pumpkin into ½-1 inch pieces. Add to a medium bowl, along with all the spices, sugar, and olive oil, tossing to distribute everything evenly. Pour onto the baking sheet in a single layer, and roast for 20 minutes, tossing once after 10 minutes.
While the pumpkin is roasting, place the pita squares on a large, dry baking sheet. No need to line this baking sheet with anything as we are dry-toasting them. Toast for 7-10 minutes, checking after half the time has passed. Remove from the oven when the pita is very crisp and has a light golden color.
While the pumpkin and pita are in the oven, cook the rice. In a large pot, heat the 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the rice and toast for 5-7 minutes, or until the rice becomes fragrant and is just beginning to show some slight golden color. Add in the salt, bay leaves, and water, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 13 minutes, or until there is no water remaining in the bottom of the pot, and the rice is light when fluffed with a fork. Remove bay leaves, and set aside.
To build, place the toasted pita squares evenly on the bottom of a large platter, and carefully top with the rice. Add 2 cups of the Signature Tomato Sauce on top of the rice, and add the roasted pumpkin on top of that. Finish the dish by scattering torn mint leaves and pomegranate arils on top. Place remaining Signature Tomato Sauce in a bowl for extra at the table. Serve immediately for a family fall feast!
It’s common in Egyptian Fattah to top the dish with nuts, namely chestnuts, almonds, or pine nuts. Feel free to add one or all of them for an added crunch!
Besides spiced and roasted pumpkin, roasted or grilled tofu, Beyond Meat, or vegan chicken are also great toppers to Fattah, another classic dish of Egypt.