Pumpkin Halwa with Saffron

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on October 13, 2010

Diwali is the Indian festival of lights. We celebrate by wearing new clothes, lighting fire crackers and exchanging sweets. With Diwali around the corner, here is a recipe that celebrates both the Indian festival and the beautiful fall season here in America.

Halwa, also called halva, halveh, helwa, or  halvah is a sweet usually made with semolina or wheat in south Asia and using nuts in the middle east. Carrot halwa is also common in India. In this recipe, I use butternut squash instead of the carrots. You can use either rose water or saffron in this recipe for flavoring. I chose saffron.

Traditional halwa uses khoa or khoya or mawa (milk that is cooked down so most the moisture is evaporated). This adds texture and richness to halwa. I use almond meal instead of khoya. Almond meal adds great flavor and helps thicken the halwa.

Be sure to take a look at Mahanandi’s pumpkin halwa using butternut squash. En Samayal Arai blog has a pumpkin halwa recipe using yellow pumpkin. Manta’s Kitchen has a pumpkin halwa or kaddu ka halwa recipe. BBC Food’s recipe for pumpkin halwa can also be used with carrots, zucchini or any gourds.

Vegans can try this recipe with coconut milk or almond milk. Earth vegan blog has a vegan carrot halwa recipe using almond milk.

For a great video on halwa making technique, watch Vah Chef’s carrot halwa video.

Pumpkin Halwa Recipe

serves 6-8

1 small butternut squash or any winter squash or pumpkin (weighing about 1.5 lb or 4 cups when grated)
4 tablespoons butter or ghee
2 tablespoons cashew nuts
2 tablespoons raisins
4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 cup low fat milk
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons almond meal or ground almonds
A pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon saffron

Peel the butternut squash or pumpkin using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife. Halve it and scoop out the seeds and membrane. Cut it into large chunks. Using the coarse side of a box grater, grate the chunks. (A food processor will make the grating easier). You should have about 4 cups of grated squash.

Heat the butter or ghee in a large, wide, non-stick skillet. Add cashews, raisins, and cardamom. When the cashews get golden, add the grated butternut squash or pumpkin. Cook, stirring for about 2 minutes on medium heat.

Add the milk and condensed milk. Cook uncovered on medium heat for 15 minutes or till the squash is cooked, but still holding its shape. Stir the halwa occasionally so that it doesn’t burn or stick to the pan.

Add almond meal and cook another 4 minutes. The halwa is done when it has thickened and the liquid is no longer runny. The halwa will get firmer when cool. Add the salt and saffron at the end of cooking.

Cool the halwa a little, then shape into balls (optional). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Comments

comments

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Soma October 13, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I was wondering what u were doing with the saffron. Beautiful yellow. Don’t know if I am the only but but I hate khoya. Never use khoya with my halwas or any kind of sweet. Growing up I never heard of pumpkin halwa. With almond meal it sounds really really good.

[Reply]

Reply

2 Manasi October 13, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Gorgeous! Almond meal must make it so tasty and rich and the saffron! I feel that most Indian sweets are incomplete without kesar and elaichi :)

[Reply]

Reply

3 Sonia {7spice} October 13, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Your pics has almost convinced me to try pumpkin in halwa. Never tried it in halwa yet. OMG, lots of your recipes are lined up to try. love the orange saree in background.

[Reply]

Reply

4 Swathi October 14, 2010 at 5:30 am

Pumpkin halwa looks delicious. Nice one. Never tried any sweet dish with pumpkin. Need too.

[Reply]

Reply

5 Miriam/The Winter Guest October 14, 2010 at 5:31 am

Great little sweets! They look almost like truffles, but so different… lovely.

[Reply]

Reply

6 Rosa October 14, 2010 at 5:31 am

Fabulous! That seasonal treat is perfect.

Cheers,

Rosa

[Reply]

Reply

7 Priya October 14, 2010 at 5:31 am

Woww mouthwatering halwa..looks fantastic..

[Reply]

Reply

8 Sharmilee October 14, 2010 at 5:31 am

Nice flavour of saffron to the halwa…classic clicks

[Reply]

Reply

9 notyet100 October 14, 2010 at 5:32 am

awesome presentation,..halwa looks yum…

[Reply]

Reply

10 shaz October 14, 2010 at 5:32 am

Wow, look at that saffron. Great looking halwa, my dad loves the carrot version. Never tried a butternut squash one before. Thanks for sharing.

[Reply]

Reply

11 Happy Cook October 14, 2010 at 5:32 am

I remember mom making halwa with pumpkin but then that took so long to make as it had to be stirr long etc…… and it was only made for specialy ocasions etc…. and there was someone to help stirring as when ever she made it wa sin huge quantities.
I love the idea of this ine which takes lesser time.

[Reply]

Reply

12 Kripa October 14, 2010 at 9:54 am

Wonderful recipe and Excellent photography….have been following ur website for a while but never took the time to comment. Heard abt it thru ur friend Div. I am Div.’s friend from TCE. We have met a few times…Keep up the great work!

[Reply]

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Thanks Kripa! How nice to hear from you!

[Reply]

Reply

13 Vaishali October 14, 2010 at 10:30 am

I’ve made pumpkin sweets before like pumpkin bread and pie and cheesecake, but would’ve never thought of making a pumpkin halwa. What a deliciously inspiring idea!

[Reply]

Reply

14 Cynthia October 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I am such a fan of your artistry. Love the shot with the falling saffron.

[Reply]

Reply

15 FoodZone October 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I like the way you make the simple recipes look so exotic!

[Reply]

Reply

16 FoodZone October 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I like the way you make simple recipes look so exotic!

[Reply]

Reply

17 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets October 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm

I love the types of halwa I’ve tried but never yet a pumpkin variety. Very lovely for fall, Sala :) .

[Reply]

Reply

18 David October 16, 2010 at 7:53 am

delicious!

[Reply]

Reply

19 Anu Menon October 17, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Hey Sala…
Lovely as usual… I tried the mahanadi link and it doesnt take me any where… Does the site have restricted access?
Jus wondering
Happy Dasera

[Reply]

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

I checked the link, works fine. Try again maybe? :)

[Reply]

Reply

20 Viswa October 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Gorgeous Gorgeous picture. Nice touch with the Pattu podavai!

[Reply]

Reply

21 Vijitha October 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Loved the color! So warm and inviting.
Is that a pattu saree? My mom has a similar one with bhuttas on it.

[Reply]

Reply

22 Farnoosh October 23, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Halva is also very popular in Iran -and so is Saffron but only in rice. I come here for the photos. I don’t cook or bake – my husband does – but I am here to ENJOY your photos, what fantastic job you do!

[Reply]

Reply

23 Shaan November 3, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Instead of grating, can we pressure cooker the peeled pumpking and mash it?

[Reply]

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

yes, you can. but i like the little grated strips of pumpkin running through the halwa. take care not to over cook the pumpkin in the pressure cooker.

[Reply]

Reply

24 gfveg October 17, 2011 at 7:57 pm

i have many cans of organic pumpkin in the cupboard. thinking i’ll try it with one of them. feeling inspired by the recipe and lovely photos!

[Reply]

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

canned pumpkin might be looser than fresh, so you might need to add more ground almonds :)

[Reply]

Reply

25 Salma November 2, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Hi! I just stumbled upon your website while searching for a pumpkin recipe. I am finding your site so so cool and awesome!!!! Love the pics!
I have a question about this recipe, can I use Pumpkin puree which I have already made from fresh pumpkins ( my son got them from his field trip)? I made it by steaming them. Thanks a bunch :)

[Reply]

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

you could, but your end result will be looser. im not sure if you can form them into balls using pumpkin puree. if you find you cant, just add more ground almond to thicken it up. or cook the mixture longer so it thickens :)

[Reply]

Salma Reply:

Ok sounds good! Thanks!

[Reply]

Reply

26 chitra June 29, 2012 at 12:30 am

omg, your pics are amazing! so inspiring! good going!

[Reply]

Reply

Leave a Comment

Comment using OpenID

Page 1 of 11

Previous post:

Next post: