Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Kasi Halwa

Kasi Halwa is a special sweet usually made on big occasions. For all engagements in our family or the day previous to the wedding, we have this sweet in the feast. I have always wondered, this is something only the chefs can make and give it this special taste to Kasi Halwa. Kasi Halwa is something made of very different food ingredients which we can never try upon at home - this was on my mind until I tried for the first time for my daughter ayush-homam @ Guruvayoor appan temple in Newjersey. I missed all of my people for her 1st birthday. So I wanted to give a feast to people like how we do in India. This made me to prepare Kasi Halwa for the first time. 

It is that I had never attempted to try out anything in the kitchen until my marriage got fixed. I never had bothered to know what goes into what? And to tell you one big thing, my mother is big delicious cook when it comes to sweet. Although she has made only the authentic sweets of our routine life, still never felt any other sweet as equal to that!  Esp., I always love her halwas and mysore pak.

And today is my star birthday, remembered this special sweet and felt mouth watering. Had the entire time for and I already knew this would take not more than an hour. I prepared it and loved the first taste of it. My kutti was little hesitant in the beginning to try (she tries to avoid all new foods), and to my surprise she enjoyed it quite a lot! And today alone I got more than 10 calls from sundar asking if the I have started to make halwa, if it is done, & so on. 

I am sure you will also would like to give a try! I bet you can do when you are rushing up to prepare a sweet!

You need

2 cups White Pumpkin
1 1/2 cups sugar (increase or decrease as per taste)
2 glasses of water1/4 cup  ghee (can also reduce upto 4 tsp)
a pinch of cardamom

1 cup milk5 - 6 strands of saffron
cashews, badam and raisins- few pieces (or more if needed)

This serves 4-5 people of a single serving 

Peel off the outer skin from the pumpkin and chop in small pieces or grate it. I prefer to chop and as it cooks, I will try to mash with the laddle. It gives a better taste. 
This is how I chopped the pumpkin. And still you will not find any piece of pumpkin in the halwa. 
Now, do not squeeze out the water. Add 1/2 cup of milk and let it cook. Once it gets tender, add the saffron and let it cook until you can it well with the ladle. If required beat the mixture for 1 min. The cooking need to be done in low flame. In the meanwhile, in a heavy bottom sauce pan, make sugar syrup by adding sugar to boiling water. Add the cardamom powder to it before it forms to be a syrup.
Once the sugar syrup thickens, add the cooked pumpkin. Let this be on low flame for about 20 mins or untill there is no water left behind. 
The halwa will begin to curdle onto itself. Now slowly add ghee one spoon at a time. If you add the specified cup of ghee, you will get the glossy look on the halwa, and also halwa tastes good for days. 
Keep stirring the halwa every 2-3 minutes or when it begins to stick to the vessel. 
Now, the halwa is ready. You can add your desired nuts or dry fruit to the halwa. It is always better to avoid the salty nuts and less sweet dry fruits. Slightly roast them in ghee and add to the halwa and serve at room temperature.
It is best when it is served hoht! As it gets chill, it thickens.
Sharing this special sweet with you gives me more pleasure.
 Some facts about SAFFRON
Saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, is native to the Mediterranean area and most imported saffron comes from Spain.
This food is low in Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin B6, Iron and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Magnesium and Manganese, All these are in minimal for a serving.
As an ingredient in both ancient and traditional medicines, saffron has long been used as a healing agent. Known for its effective antibacterial and antiviral properties, it is considered effective against stomach pains, cough and chronic bronchitis, and can prevent tooth decay.

I am sending this to the event for "Celebrating Sweets - Halwa"  hosted by Nivedita's kitchen. 

and to Blog Hop from Tickling Palates


And to my event CC - flavors of Tamilnadu

1 comment:

  1. Hi Vidhya,
    Thank you so much for sending this recipe to my event.


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