Rediff reader and food blogger Ruchik Randhap sent us this Udupi special recipe. What's your favourite Diwali recipe? Tell us!
This Diwali, surprise your loved ones with this traditional sweet recipe from Karnataka.
Made from sweetened ash gourd and garnished with nuts, this halwa makes for an incredible festive treat.
Here's the recipe:
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 750 to 800 gm ash gourd
- Sugar as required
- 2 cardamoms husked and powdered
- 10 to 12 cashew nuts
- 10 to 12 raisins
- 2 tsp ghee
- A pinch of salt
- Wash the ash gourd well, cut into quarters and remove the pith (the centre portion with seeds).
- Remove the skin with a peeler and grate the flesh.
- Squeeze as much water as possible. Retain the water in a bowl for later use.
- Weigh the grated pulp. I got approx 275 grams (approx 1-1/4 cups, tightly packed).
- Measure out the same amount of sugar. I used only 3/4th cups of sugar as against 1 to 1/4 cup of pulp -- use sugar according to your choice.
- Transfer the grated pulp into a pressure cooker and add back a little of the reserved water so that it doesn't scorch the bottom of the pan or cooker. It's ok if you end up adding a little more.
- Pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles.
- Remove the cooker from the heat and allow it to cool down a bit before you remove the weight (whistle).
- Place the cooker back on a medium low heat and cook until almost all the water evaporates.
- Add sugar and ghee and continue to cook till the mixture turns into a ball and ghee begins to leave from the sides of the mixture.
- In a separate pan, heat 1 to 2 teaspoons of ghee and fry the raisins lightly till they puff up -- remove before they burn.
- The cashew nuts need to be fried next until light golden.
- Add the fried nuts, raisins along with the ghee and the powdered cardamom and mix well.
- Remove the pan from fire and serve the halwa hot, by itself or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Tastes divine!
Expert Tip: Always buy a tender ash gourd that feels heavy when you hold it. The older it gets, the more number of seeds start developing inside which you need to discard and hence the net amount of pulp is less.
Image courtesy: Ruchik Randhap
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