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Vegetarian Pipian

Vegetarian Pipian

Pumpkin seeds are used in many parts of Mexico, such as this vegetable Pipian, a family dish typical of Mayan food.


  • 24 small onions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp oregano 
  • allspice berries
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup squash
  • 1 chayote 
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ habanero or other chile to taste
  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin seed oil


  1. 1

    Heat a pan on medium-high. Place onions and garlic, unpeeled, in a pan and grill on all sides. Remove garlic when it’s cooked. Remove onions a few minutes later when the skin is black. 

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, grind spices and cube vegetables into 1-inch pieces. 

  3. 3

    Peel and quarter the cooked onions. Place in a pot with tomatoes, 3 cloves garlic, vegetables and half the spices. Salt and pepper, then add ¾ cup water. Stir well. Bring to a boil and steam until the vegetables are tender (12-15 minutes). 

  4. 4

    Meanwhile, toast pumpkin seeds in a pan until they start to crackle and smell. Set 3 tablespoons aside and place the rest in a food processor with remaining grilled garlic and chile. Reduce to a powder. 

  5. 5

    When the vegetables are tender, add lemon juice to the food processor with pumpkin seed powder and grind until smooth. Pour the sauce in the pot and simmer for 2 minutes. 

  6. 6

    Transfer vegetables to a platter. Serve garnished with pumpkin seeds and a splash of olive oil.

A variation of the Avial from The Spice Trekkers Cook at Home