Rukmini Iyer's Bengali Five-spice Roasted Squash with Carrots & Pumpkin Seeds

I make so many versions of roasted squash – this one with a garlic, ginger and Bengali five-spice crust is a new favourite. You can find panch phoron (literally ‘five-spice’) in larger supermarkets in the spice aisle or in the Asian food aisle – it’s a lovely aromatic mixture of fenugreek, black cumin, nigella, mustard and fennel seeds – easy to make up yourself in equal quantities (page 87), but I usually buy a packet of ready-mixed.

Extracted from: India Express – Fresh and Delicious Recipes for Every Day. By Rukmini Iyer Published by Square Peg £22 hbk Photography by David Loftus

Main Ingredients Serves: 4

  • 600g squash, cut into 3cm wedges
  • 300g carrots, peeled and halved (purple are nice if available)
  • 1 red onion, cut into eighths
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 5–6 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Handful pumpkin seeds

 Store cupboard Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons panch phoron (page 87), or ½ teaspoon each of nigella, mustard, fennel, black cumin and fenugreek seeds – or use what you have to hand
  • 3 tablespoons neutral or olive oil
  • ½–1 teaspoon mild chilli powder, to taste 1 heaped teaspoon sea salt flakes


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas 6.
  2. Tip the squash, carrots, red onion, garlic and ginger into a roasting tin large enough to just hold everything in one layer (a little bit of overlap is OK).
  3. Roughly grind the panch phoron in a pestle and mortar, then add it to the roasting tin with the oil, chilli powder and salt. Mix well to coat the vegetables in the spices, then transfer to the oven to roast for 50 minutes until the vegetables are all cooked through.
  4. Mix the yogurt and lemon juice together and drizzle the mixture over the vegetables. Scatter over the pumpkin seeds and serve hot.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

LEFTOVERS: This heats up well the next day, and tastes lovely in wraps with more yogurt.


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