Sunday, December 6, 2015

Pumpkin - Squash Halwa (Poosinikai Halwa) (For a crowd)

I am realizing once again the value of Time Management. Though I preach this mantra to my kids all the time I seem to have lost the art somewhere along the way. Like I had mentioned in the previous blog posts the last couple of months have been extremely busy with several things that had to be done and the blog took a backseat. I had already been mourning my lost art of reading books, it looks like my long running hobby might also be in jeopardy. I used to read anything and everything by which I mean books that came my way. Now all I seem to do is graze the newspaper, blogs and some news sites online.

I am pretty sure managing my time better would result in some good things. Like being able to post more regularly and also read some of my favorite books. While I am a little too old to learn time management all over again, it is never too late to teach kids some time management skills. With all the distractions that are readily available these days it is quite difficult but this skill once learned will be something that perhaps helps them all through their life.

While a lot of well meaning parents end up managing time and school work for the kids, little do they realize that they are taking away the chance that kids have to become responsible. Don't for a minute think that I consciously let my kids become responsible. It just happened that way. I did not have the time nor the inclination for that matter to manage my kids' lives to the last minute detail. While I felt guilty for not doing some of the things it ended up actually helping them become a tiny bit more responsible. They take care of their school work and stuff, thus freeing me to do my things.

I might not be the right person to tell how to learn or teach time management. There are a lot of books and resources that might be able to do a better job. Felt like talking about it so there.

Now on to the recipe,
North Georgia Candy Roaster - the squash that I grew on a whim. The candy roaster is a big squash and slightly sweeter than the butternut squash. While I make a lot of savory Indian recipes with the squash , I wanted to try making a sweet dish with the squash especially a halwa. So the Thanksgiving holiday get together seemed like a good time as any another to give it a go. While I was a little anxious about cooking a large quantity but I needn't have worried. The recipe turned out to my liking and the taste wasn't too bad either ;) While I made the recipe with the Candy Roaster squash, any type of squash or pumpkin will work fine.

This recipe will also give your hands a good workout with all the stirring. I had a total of about 8 cups of shredded squash. While I started by grating the squash it seemed like it was going to take forever but the hand blender's shredder attachment made a quick job of it.

Shred or grate the squash and keep it ready. Heat the ghee in a heavy bottomed pan.
Add in the shredded squash and let it cook for about 40-50 minutes. The quantity reduces by almost half.
Add in the sugar and let it cook for another 40-50 minutes till it thickens and comes together.

You want a fairly thick bottomed pan, it would avoid too much sticking to the bottom when left unattended. No artificial food coloring would give that vibrant color.

Pumpkin/Squash Halwa - Poosinikai Halwa
Preparation Time:20 minutes
Cooking Time:2 - 2 1/2 hours
  1. 8 cups of shredded Candy Roaster Squash
  2. 3 cups of sugar (3/4 cup of sugar for every 2 cups of squash)
  3. 3/4 cup of ghee
  4. 2 tsp of powdered cardamom
  5. 4 tbsp of broken cashews

  1. In a heavy bottomed pan add about 1/2 tbsp of the ghee. Add in the grated squash and stir it around. Let it cook for about 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
  2. After about 40-50 minutes, the squash will start to soften and reduce by almost half. Now add in the sugar, let it melt.
  3. Mix the sugar into the squash and in low medium heat continue to cook till the mixture gets glossy.
  4. Add in the cardamom powder, the ghee in intervals around the sides of the pan, the squash will stop looking grainy and will move away from the sides of the pan.
  5. Continue to cook till it gets thick, mix in the roasted cashews, mix in and turn of the heat.
  6. Note:Once the squash is cooked and has thickened up, you can remove from the heat any time you want depending upon how thick or loose you want the halwa to be.

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  1. Look so delicious.!!
    Thanks for sharing.!

  2. The kasi halwa looks sinful indo...time management is an art..while it was so on stop for me too, all of a sudden I have been realizing that its lost somewhere in the way..and bang on reading as well..I used to read so not finding enough time to do anything...nice to know abt your kids being responsible on their own..that's a great thing..

    1. Srivalli, I thought kasi halwa was made with white pumpkin Absolutely time management is an art that should be practiced :)

    2. Yes Indo you are right, Kasi halwa is with Vellai poosinikai..:)..I assumed its the same name for this variety too..

    3. Srivalli I am not sure about the name for the halwa made with orange pumpkin. you are right maybe it is called kasi halwa as well. Just don't know.


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