This could be the best-smelling hands-on session ever, as spice queen Ana Sortun gets you grinding, pounding, toasting, roasting and blending your own exotic spice mixes, before you cook up an array of Turkish, Lebanese, Greek and Moroccan-inspired dishes that look and taste as good as they smell.
Persian spice mix:
Combine and store in an airtight jar out of the light.
Fall baby pumpkins stuffed with fragrant pilaf:
Soak basmati rice, while bringing large pot of water to a boil. Stir in rice and cook until just tender. Drain and rinse until cool. Set aside.
Bring one cup of water to a boil in a small saucepot and add one cup of sugar. Add carrot strips and simmer eight-ten minutes until they are soft and candied. Drain and chop roughly.
Sauté onions with spice until soft. Stir in pistachios, almonds, carrots and orange zest. Add mulberries and two tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt to taste.
Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and fill with rice stuffing. Cover with water or broth and bake for one hour until rice and pumpkin are both tender. The ratio should be 2:1 of water/broth to rice.
Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the pumpkin.
If stuffing sugar pumpkins, use raw rice and mix together into raw rice.
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