Preparing the rice
- Pour the boiling water over the rice and simmer over a low heat until nearly cooked. This should take about 4-7 minutes depending on the type of rice. Keep in mind that the rice will keep cooking whilst the pumpkin bakes.
- Strain and return the rice to the hot pot. Add the salt and melted butter, stirring gently until evenly combined.
Preparing the pumpkin
- Using a sharp knife cut out a round-shaped lid off the top part of the pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds and the fibrous parts of the pumpkin cavity.
- Use a spoon to scrape some of the flesh off the pumpkin if the cavity is small and the walls of the pumpkin are too thick.
- Coat/massage the walls of the cavity with some butter and honey. Set the pumpkin aside.
Preparing the fruit mixture
- In a frying pan sauté the fruit, nuts and spices with the coconut oil and butter.
- Add the diluted honey and heat for a further minute. Cover the pan with a lid to keep warm.
Stuffing the pumpkin
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
- Spoon one layer of rice into the pumpkin and add a layer of the fruit-and-nut mixture. Repeat until both are used up.
- Warm the additional honey in the microwave for 25 seconds and dilute it with a quarter cup of boiled water.
- Pour the diluted honey into the pumpkin over the rice mixture. Insert the cinnamon quill into the centre of the pumpkin. Place the “lid” back on the pumpkin.
- Place the pumpkin on an oven-proof tray that is bigger than the pumpkin to make it easier to plate whilst hot.
- Bake in the oven at 170 degrees for about 1 hour and 30 minutes or until cooked through. Test doneness by inserting skewer vertically near the lid of the pumpkin so that the liquid doesn’t leak out.
- Before serving, allow pumpkin to cool to a manageable temperature. You will get the best flavour and texture if you leave it in the oven to cool slowly for 5-6 hours.
- Open the lid of the Ghapama and remove the cinnamon quill. Use a sharp knife to slice the pumpkin along its grooves into segments. Fan it out onto a platter like a lower. Enjoy as a side dish, dessert or as brunch.