2 lemon grass stems, outer two layers removed, then finely slice the bottom 6cm
50g/2oz grated pale palm sugar
6 large diver caught scallops, out of the shell, cleaned
150ml/5fl oz roast chicken jus
the juice of one lime
a handful of mizuna leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place the pumpkin on a baking tray and roast until cooked and the skin has darkened, about 45 minutes. Turn the oil up to 180C/350F and add the 8 pepper quarters and fry until darkened and softened, remove and drain. Cook the chillies the same way, drain.
Cook the the ginger and galangal all in the same way, cooking only one ingredient at a time, until you have a pile of fried tasty bits.
Place them all in a food processor and whizz to a fine paste with the lime leaves and lemongrass. Don t clean the processor, but remove the paste to a clean jar (it will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks).
Once the pumpkin is cooked remove it from the oven and cut in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds then scoop the flesh from the skin and place in the food processor. Add the palm sugar, a tsp of salt and half the paste, blitz to a fine purée and taste for seasoning - add more curry paste if desired.
Pour 2 tablespoons of oil onto a cold plate, and once cooled lay the scallops on top, then turn over to coat with the oil. Heat a skillet up and when smoking, place the scallops on and cook for 60 seconds each side to get them just beyond rare. Leave to rest in a warm place for a few minutes.