Kara'a (Libyan Pumpkin Dip)

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 15 mins

Serve up this traditional Libyan mezze dish of spiced mashed pumpkin with lots of hot griddled pita bread.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put the pumpkin in a saucepan with 2/3 cup of water, and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until soft.
  2. Drain the pumpkin and return to the empty pan. Season well with salt and pepper and mash with a fork until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Dry-roast the caraway and cumin seeds in a small frying pan over a medium-high heat for a couple of minutes until aromatic.
  4. Crush the toasted seeds using a pestle and mortar then add the garlic, chili, and a pinch of salt, and work into a smooth paste.
  5. Stir the spice mixture and lemon juice into the mashed pumpkin, then mix in the olive oil.
  6. Serve either hot or cold as part of a mezze, accompanied by lots of hot griddled pita bread.


Most Helpful

Very tasty! Next time I'll use a little less lemon juice. Perhaps it was the size of the lemon I used, but it overpowered the pumpkin a bit.

Kitty #3 November 30, 2008

Liked this a lot, although I didn't quite follow the recipe. I used canned pumpkin, and canned green chilies (can't get red chilies here). I halved the lemon juice, as recommended by the previous reviewer. I originally left the oil out, but then added half the amount - it really makes a big difference in the flavor and texture. I think that using an oil that has the olive flavor is probably pretty important. I loooove garlic, and yet found this to be a bit garlicky, as I'm taking it to a pot-luck. Due to the garlic issue, I added some crumbled feta, which I thought was an acceptable addition (although it makes it less pretty). I found that whole-wheat pita enhances the sweetness of the pumpkin.

seejay September 23, 2010

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