With her latest cook book, life in balance, revolutionising our kitchen, we just had to share wholesome chef Donna Hay’s Pumpkin, Chickpea and Brown Rice Balls! This vegan recipe is perfect for sharing at dinner parties and something the entire family will love!



400g butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded and chopped

24 heirloom baby carrots

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing

sea salt and cracked black pepper

1 x 400g can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

2 cups (400g) cooked brown rice

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind

1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons ground sumac, plus extra for sprinkling

1 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped

¼ cup (40g) sesame seeds

labne or coconut yoghurt to serve

mint leaves and baby (micro) watercress (optional), to serve


Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Place the pumpkin and carrots on a large baking tray. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes or until golden and tender.

Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and roughly mash with a fork. Add the pumpkin, rice, lemon rind, chilli, garlic, sumac, coriander, salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Divide and shape the mixture into 2-tablespoon balls and flatten slightly. Press into the sesame seeds to coat and brush with extra oil. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and roast, turning halfway, for 20 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with extra sumac and serve with the carrots, labne/coconut yoghurt, mint and baby watercress.


Recipe taken from Donna Hay’s new cook book, life in balance, which is available to buy here!