Tag Archives: bunya nut

Bunya nut pesto

Stewart, our City Cousin Coordinator passed on this great recipe for those Bunya nut lovers.


  • ¾ cup cooked Bunya nuts
  • 2½ cups of tightly packed basil leaves (you can use a combination of basil and rocket leaves, or even 100% rocket leaves)
  • 3 – 4 cloves of garlic (to taste)
  • juice of half a lemon (to taste)
  • 1 chilli (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup oil (to taste)

Method – Bunya nuts:
If you google ‘Bunya pine’ you will be able to identify their unique shape. There are many of these trees around Brisbane, on public and private land. The tan nuts are contained inside larger segments of the overall cone. The nuts are easily removed from the cone, the challenge is removing the nut from it’s tough leathery ‘shell’. Boil the Bunya nuts in their shells for about 30 minutes then cut the soft shell to remove the flesh. I used some long handled garden secateures to open the nut. Dice the nuts for blending.

Method – Pesto:
Blend the ingredients to a paste using a food processor, blender or bar mix; you may have to add a little more oil. Adjust the levels of garlic, salt and lemon juice to taste as you go. I prefer slightly more garlic and salt to give it a real zing. If you intend to store the pesto for long, use a little more oil and cover the pesto with a little oil to seal from the air. As a snack whilst processing the nuts and preparing the pesto, boil and roast [5 minutes in a hot oven] some Bunya nuts, then stir fry the nuts in tamari or soy sauce.

Bunya nut damper


  • 3 cups self raising flour
  • 1 cup minced boiled Bunya nuts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • handful of sultanas
  • water (usually about 2 cups)
  • a camp oven
  • a fire


Put the flour and salt in bowl, add sultanas and mix well. Add enough water to bind the dough into a moist, rubbery mass. Work it with your hands until all the flour is taken up by the dough and the bowl is quite clean.

Put the mix in a well greased small camp oven. Place oven in hot coals of camp fire and cover the lid with coals and shovel coals around sides. Allow 30-40 minutes cooking time. If you can smell the damper cooking after only a few minutes, the fire may be too hot. If so, rake away a few of the coals.

Before removing the oven from the coals, brush coals off lid and remove lid – if cooked, it should have a nice well-browned crust. Remove oven from fire, take out damper and allow to cool.
(From the ABC.)


For a slightly less adventurous version (if you  aren’t planning to eat your Bunya nuts around a campfire!) you could try baking your damper in a regular kitchen oven.

Shape the damper in to a loaf shape, and put it on a well greased tray and bake at 200 ºC for around 25 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 180ºC and cook a further 10 – 15 minutes, or until done. Keep checking the damper during the cooking process, as the time will depend on the shape of your loaf. When it is cooked your damper will be a beautiful light golden brown colour, and when you tap it it will sound hollow.

Serve damper with lots of butter, jam and a cup of warm tea.

Cooking Bunya nuts

To cook your Bunya nuts, boil them in salty water for around twenty minutes. To help them cook a little faster, you can slit them up the side with a knife (watch your fingers!) or a pair of secateurs before you boil them. When you are cutting them, cut down towards the base of the nut – this will help you open them later on.

Once they are cooked, you can peel them and eat the insides either cold, or warm with salt, pepper and plenty of butter.

Minced Bunya nuts make great additions to casseroles and soups, and can also be minced and used for baking and pesto. To mince Bunya nuts, boil them, leave to cool and then process in a food processor until they have a sandy, granulated texture.