If you ask me which halwa I like, I will say Tirunelveli halwa and white pumpkin halwa, also called as kasi halwa. I tasted this kasi halwa for the first time when I attended my friend’s daughter’s wedding in Tamil Nadu. They had served it for breakfast. Here in Kerala, the kasi halwa is the most popular dessert served for lunch during Muslim weddings. White pumpkin is used in many Kerala cuisines. Last week I got a huge white pumpkin when I went to my husband’s ancestral home. That’s when I decided to make kasi halwa. I got the recipe from a friend and made it. The taste is awesome and you should try it if you have not tasted it. Here I have shared the recipe for making kasi halwa with milk. Some people make it without milk.
Recipe for kasi halwa
- White pumpkin: 1 kg
- Condensed milk: 1 can
- Sugar: 2 tbsp (optional)
- Ghee: ½ cup
- Cardamom powder: a small pinch
- Orange food color: ¼ tsp
- Saffron: 3-4 strands
- Milk: 1 ½ cup
For garnishing the halwa, you can use nuts of your choice. You can use just cashew nuts and raisins if required. I always add plenty of nuts when I make halwa.
- Cashew nuts: 15
- Raisins: 15
- Pistachios: 12
- Almonds: 12
- Peel the skin of the white pumpkin. Discard the seed portion. Now grate the pumpkin.
- Blanch and sliver the almonds and pistachios.
- Heat a pan and dry roast the almonds and pistachios for a few seconds. Remove from pan and keep aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in the pan. First fry the raisins for 8-10 seconds. Then add the cashew nuts and fry till they become brown. Remove both from the pan and keep aside.
- Mix the saffron with 2 tbsp of milk.
Now let’s make kasi halwa
- Heat 4 tbsp of ghee in a pan and saute till the raw smell of the pumpkin disappears.
- Add milk and let the milk boil and the pumpkin get cooked.
- Reduce the flame and add condensed milk, sugar (optional), and saffron and food color.
- Continue cooking by stirring the halwa continuously.
- Keep adding the ghee every few seconds, until they are fully used.
- When the halwa starts thickening, add the cardamom powder and mix well.
- The halwa will become a lump by leaving the sides of the pan. You can see the ghee oozing out on the sides. Now switch off the flame.
- Add the raisins and cashew nuts and mix well.
- Garnish with almonds and pistachios and serve hot.
- I like to have my halwa hot. You can also serve it chilled.
My friend cuts the white pumpkin into small pieces. Cooks, the pumpkin in a pressure cooker, for 1 whistle. Removes excess water and turns it in a blender, and then cooks it in the pan. You can try either method. Kasi halwa is an extremely delicious mouth watering halwa, and if you taste it once, you will be making it again.