HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY AND A SWEET TREAT FROM INDIA – PUMPKIN HALWA
I remember celebrating Independence Day in India as a kid. August 15th is a National holiday in India, so the celebrations were held a day before in school, full with all sorts of festivities, games, entertainment, sweets and the tri-colors of our National flag floating everywhere. But the memories I have of Independence Day other than the colors and celebrations, is the flavour and sweet aroma of yellow pumpkin cooking in ghee and milk, of Kadoo Halwa, that Ma cooked on such holidays.
Pumpkin is also called Kadoo in Hindi. I don’t particularly love the taste of pumpkins and it’s never been a favorite vegetable, but this pumpkin dessert is unbelievable! Ma would make this sweet and the house filled up with the distinct fragrance of the halwa. I would finish bowls of this sweet gooey dessert and get ready for some more! I guess Ma had found a way of feeding me pumpkins!
Milk Ghee or clarified butter
Nuts and raisins for garnish
It’s similar in preparation to ‘Gajar halwa’ or carrot halwa but takes much lesser time as the pumpkin softens quicker than carrots. Grate the pumpkin and cook in ghee till it softens. Add milk and all other ingredients except the garnish and cook till it becomes a pulp. Stir the halwa till it is fully cooked and doesn’t stick to the pan anymore. Garnish with nuts and raisins.