Wish you all a very Happy New Year - 2016!
The past year I was not very regular with my blog. This year I hope I can spend more time on the blog and post more regularly. So here is the first post of the year. Starting the New Year on a sweet note :)
The Kasi Halwa was a signature dish of my grandfather. I really don’t what took me so long to post this dish. After my grandfather, this dish has not been made much in our household. And I used to taste it once in a while in marriages or family functions. It is one of my favorite sweets and very easy to make, the only hard work being grating the ash gourd.
I have seen my grandfather tie the grated ashgourd in a white cloth and squeeze it very well to remove all the juices. He used to make in large quantities and hence it is required to squeeze out all the excess water. Since mine was a very small gourd and I had only 2 cups of grated vegetable, I just squeezed it lightly with my hands. If you squeeze it, it will take less time for the moisture to evaporate.
Serves 3 to 4
What you’ll need
- Ashgourd/Elavan/Vella Poosnikai – 2 cup, grated and lightly squeezed
- Sugar – ¾ cup
- Ghee – 4 tbsp
- Cardamom – 6 pods
- Saffron – few strands (optional)
- Cashew nuts – few
- Yellow or Orange food color – a pinch
- Peel the ashgourd and remove the seeds and soft white middle portion.
- Grate the ashgourd. Lightly squeeze the grated ash gourd and measure it. Save the liquid.
- Heat a heavy bottomed pan, with a tbsp of ghee, fry the cashews until golden and keep the cashew aside.
- Add the grated ash gourd to the heavy bottomed pan and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add a little of the reserved liquid and cook covered on medium heat until the ash gourd is soft and tender. Takes anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes. Keep stirring once in a while for even cooking and to avoid burning. Make sure that most or all of the moisture is absorbed.
- Add the sugar after the ash gourd is cooked completely. Once sugar is added, the mixture will turn watery. Also add the food color and saffron strands at this stage and keep stirring on medium heat.
- Add the remaining ghee little by little and stir until the mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan.
- Remove from heat. Add the cardamom powder and fried cashew nuts.
- Delicious kasi halwa is ready. Serve warm.
- If the grated vegetable has a lot of water content then squeeze well to reduce cooking time.
- Cook on medium to low heat throughout.
- This can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days. Heat on a vessel of water before serving.