Here comes one more authentic and healthy sweet dish. Kumbala kayi halwa (Pumpkin dessert) is one of the most healthy and tasty sweet dish. Pumpkin is generally a healthy food with no negative effects if eaten in proper way, Pumpkin is an incredibly nutritious food. Pumpkins are loaded with lots of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and relatively few calories as well. There are many ways that pumpkin can be included in your regular diet. You can make dessert, soup, veggie, salad, raita (a type of salad with curds), sambar and fryums (Sandige in Kannada) and many more. Choosing of Pumpkin for halwa (dessert) is very important. You have to keep one thing in mind that you have to choose the right one. Choose a field Pumpkin that is reddish yellow from inside. It is little bit sweetish in taste that is why I am using very less sugar to prepare this dish. That is the reason these Pumpkins are called “Sihi Kumbala kayi” in Kannada (Karnataka, India). Let’s see how to prepare Kumbala kayi halwa.
- Kumbala kayi/Pumpkin – 1 (Medium size)
- Ghee/Clarified butter – 1 Table spoon
- Yelakki/Cardamom – 4-5 pods
- Sakkare/Sugar – 200 grams (around one cup)
- Pumpkin seeds – 1 Table spoon (optional)
- Dry fruits (crushed) – 1 small cup altogether (Optional)
I am using almonds, cashew nuts and raisins. You can add other dry fruits of your choice as well.
- Wash and clean Pumpkin. Peel off skin and clean up inside seeds portion. Grate it finely and keep it in a bowl. Crush all dry fruits (except pumpkin seeds) and keep it in a small bowl. Slightly roast the cardamom, grind it to a fine powder and keep it aside. Keep all the ingredients separately.
- Place a thick bottomed frying pan on medium heat. Pour ghee in it, add crushed dry fruits to it and roast them until they get golden brown colour. Take them out of pan leaving ghee inside the pan and keep them aside in a small bowl.
- Add grated pumpkin to it and toss it gently with the help of a ladle (long handled spoon) in such a way that ghee should get mixed with the stuff very well. Allow it to cook for 10-15 minutes, in between toss it once in a while so that it will be cooked uniformly. Character of pumpkin is it leaves more water while cooking. You have to cook it until it absorbs all its water content and start leaving a pleasant aroma. See that the stuff should not have smell of pumpkin’s rawness. Cook it completely.
- Add sugar and mix it gently with ladle and cook it on high flame for 5 minute and reduce the flame to medium, stirring occasionally. After adding sugar, the sugar starts melting and leaving water again, you will have to cook it until it absorbs all water and become thick in such a way that the stuff should start sticking to the ladle little bit.
- Take a small quantity of halwa in a small spoon and touch it with fingers. You should feel the stickiness of the halwa. If you feel it is not done completely, you can cook it further for 5 minutes on low flame.
- Add pumpkin seeds and fried dry fruits to it and mix it well. Take out the halwa to a serving bowl. Your tasty and healthy Kumbala Kayi Halwa is ready to serve. You can serve it hot or cold, it tastes good in both ways.
- Isn’t it amazing! Enjoy cooking.