Kara'a (Libyan Pumpkin Dip)

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




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

Questions & Replies

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  1. Kitty 3
    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.
  2. seejay
    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.


I live in Manchester, UK with my fiance and young son. I work at the local hospital in pediatrics and love my job. I also love cooking!! I have a sweet tooth but try and make healthy family meals, I'm not against some lovely treats now and then though :)
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