This is a lovely light meal which despite having a few components is really easy to make and utterly delicious. The cold lightly sweetened yoghurt with the fired capers works really well with the sweet spiced squash and the tomatoes. I also often serve this dish as part of a meal where there are 3 dishes wunch dish with the warm Puy lentil salad or a lovely side dish with your main course. I often like to make 2-3 small dishes like these and serve them together for a flavour and texture contrast. Would also be great with the tandoori mushrooms. You can use any type of squash or pumpkin for this dish.






Skill level

Average: 4.9 (6 votes)


  • 500 g butternut pumpkin or squash
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves
  • ⅔ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 small star anise
  • tbsp olive oil
  • ½ - ¾ tsp red chilli powder, or to taste
  • salt, to taste


Capered yoghurt

  • 225 g Greek yoghurt
  • 1½ - 1¾ tsp sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ⅓ tsp panch phoron spice mix
  • 1½ tbsp capers

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cut the pumpkin into wedges about 2.5 cm -4 cm thick, leaving the skin on. If you are grilling or barbecuing the pumpkin, simmer in a large saucepan of lightly salted water until nearly tender but still firm to the bite. Drain and place on a tray to allow the steam to evaporate.

Heat a barbecue grill plate to high or preheat the oven 190˚C.

Place the cinnamon stick, cloves, fennel seed and star anise in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and process into a fine powder. Transfer to a large bowl, stir in the oil, salt and chilli powder. Add the pumpkin wedges and toss to coat well. Grill, turning once until both sides have char marks and the pumpkin is tender. Alternatively, place on a large baking tray and roast for 25 minutes or until tender.


To make the capered yoghurt, place the yoghurt in a serving bowl and stir in the sugar and a pinch of salt. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the panch phoran and shake the pan until the spices begin popping, Add the capers and cook for 2-3 minutes or until crisp. Pour the spice mixture over the yoghurt and stir to just combine.

Serve the pumpkin with a good dollop of capered yoghurt. 


Anjum's Australian Spice Stories starts Monday 4 April 2016 on Food Network Australia. Visit the program page for recipes and more.