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Pumpkin halwa

Pumpkin halwa

Pumpkin halwa is a very popular Indian sweet dish usually made for special occasions.


  • 450g/1lb pumpkin, courgettes, bottle gourd or carrots

  • 550ml/1 pint milk

  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed

  • 1 tbsp sultanas

  • 2 tbsp clarified (or unsalted) butter

  • 8 tbsp sugar

  • 3 tbsp halved cashews, flaked almonds, and pistachio slivers, lightly toasted

  • 1 tsp rosewater or screwpine essence (optional, but do not be tempted to add more)

  • silver leaf, chirongi nuts and watermelon seeds (available in Indian grocers), and red rose petals to garnish (optional)

Preparation method

  1. Trim, peel and finely grate the vegetables.

  2. Combine them with milk, cardamom and sultanas in a large non-stick frying pan.

  3. Heat gently and bring to a simmer, stirring occassionally.

  4. Cook until the vegetables are tender and almost all the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently as the mixture thickens.

  5. Add butter, sugar, nuts, and rosewater or screwpine essence if using, and stir well.

  6. Spread halwa out in a shallow pan to cool; garnish.

  7. When cool, cut into squares and serve.

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