Pumpkin Halwa

Today's recipe is pumpkin halwa - a pumpkin or squash based sweetmeat garnished with crushed almonds, cashews, and pistachios. The consistency of this dish is very similar to that of porridge. The added nuts also give it a nice crunch while balancing out the sweetness of the dish very well.


At the time of writing this post, we were in the midst of the Hindu festive season. Thus, I felt that this would be an appropriate time to share a dessert with you. It is also the time of year when pumpkins are harvested in the northern hemisphere. Of course, with modern-day refrigeration, storage, and transportation techniques, the notion of seasonal availability has largely become a thing of the past. Still, things taste better when they're fresh, but I digress :)


Halloween wasn't too long ago either, so if you have some spare pumpkins left at home and unsure what to do with them, this could be something new to try out.



Before I walk you through the ingredients or the steps, here are some relevant metrics for the recipe

  • Difficulty - easy

  • Prep time - 10-15 minutes, or as long as it takes you to grate 2 cups of pumpkin.

  • Cooking time - Around 5 minutes or so.

  • Servings - approximately 3-4.

Ingredients

  • Grated pumpkin or squash - approximately 2 cups.

  • Ghee/Clarified butter - 2 tbsp

  • Sugar - approx 0.5 cups, but adjust to taste.

  • Saunf powder/Powdered fennel seeds - 2 tsp.

For the garnish, you can use

  • Crushed or sliced almonds

  • Crushed cashews.

  • Pistachios

  • Crushed cardamom

  • Anything else your heart (and palate) desires


The Process

  1. Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker.

  2. Once the ghee is hot, add in the grated pumpkin.

  3. Stir the pumpkin for around a minute to ensure that it doesn't stick to the pressure cooker, and everything gets nicely coated with the ghee.

  4. Once done, seal the pressure cooker's lid and wait for the first whistle; it should not take very long. You can now kill the heat to the pressure cooker.

  5. Once you can safely open the pressure cooker, take the lid off and set the flame to medium-low.

  6. Add the sugar and the fennel powder to the pressure cooker. Mix well.

  7. Mash the pumpkin in the pressure cooker using your ladle. We want the consistency and texture of the pumpkin to be similar to that in the photo above.

  8. Once the water has dried out, turn off the heat. Garnish with your choice of crushed nuts and cardamom. Relish the crunch, sweetness, and flavors of this dish.

Bon appetit. If you ever decide to make this, I would love to know how it went for you in the comments section below. See you all in the next post :)

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