We normally go for shopping with our 30 months naughty Junior, who keeps pulling everything while passing by. Intelligent hubby makes me hold my son & he continues with the shopping. My son helps his father, pick the tomatoes, capsicum & other vegetables :p
Me: Buy phuay leng (Chinese Spinach), coriander leaves, carrot, winter melon....
Hubby: Hold on...recession time, try to avoid unnecessary items ;) Also, cook for the family & not for blog or blog events ;)
Me: do you think I just prepare it for the event, take pictures & throw the food prepared?? Don't we all enjoy eating the same food??
Him: Okay okay...this time, I will buy that big winter melon , prepare halwa for me.
Me: OK..done !!.
...and so it goes.
As I have mentioned before, my hubby is crazy for sweets. He does not mind skipping a meal & relishing on sweets. He finally bought a winter melon weighing almost 3kilos & I prepared halwa with 2.5kilos for two of us at home :D It took me around 1.5 hours to prepare the halwa. This is again a very time consuming dish, but you will forget the efforts put to prepare this as soon as you take a bite. Halwa just melts inside & our taste buds dance out of joy.
I enjoyed preparing this thoroughly, hubby enjoyed eating & hope you also would enjoy reading it.
3 cups grated winter melon/kumbalakayi
1.5 cups sugar or a little more (adjust according to taste)
1 tbsp cashew nuts
1 tsp raisins
½ tsp cardamom powder
4-6 strands of saffron (optional)
3 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
- Peel the skin of the winter melon, discard the skin & the seeds. Grate the melon & squeeze out water from the grated melon. Try to squeeze as much water as possible.
- Take a broad pan, add 1 tsp ghee. Fry the grated melon for a minute or until raw smell disappears. Scoop out the melon & pressure cook for 2-3 whistles (don’t add milk or water while pressure cooking). Allow it to cool.
- Take a thick bottomed pan, add the cooked melon along with water (it releases tremendous water when pressure cooked, don’t discard that water). Keep the flame on medium, & start stirring until all the water is absorbed (it might take 15 mins or so).
- Mix sugar now & you would see water appear again in the pan :) Keep stirring once a while until water is absorbed (20 mins or so)
- When most of the water is absorbed, add 1tbsp ghee, cardamom powder & start stirring rigorously until it forms a single mass like shown below.
- The grated winter melon would plump up now & starts looking like a small grain.Turn off the flame & allow it to cool. Meantime, fry the cashew nuts & raisins in the remaining ghee & pour this to the prepared halwa. Add saffron strands & mix well.
- Serve the halwa hot, warm or cold.
This is also known as kumbalakayi halwa, dumroot. I love to eat this halwa with vanilla ice-cream. Simply divine !!!!