Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Kashi Halwa (Winter melon halwa)

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.

Ingredients:
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

Method:

  • 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 !!!!