Prep 3 hrs
Cook 1 hr
Recipe by Indira Garu
- 2 lbs butternut squash
- 1⁄2 cup almonds
- 5 cups whole milk
- 2 cups sugar
- 8 whole cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons rose water
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- Soak almonds in warm water for about 2 hours. Remove the skins and pulse in a food processor until almonds grind to powder but not into a paste.
- Peel the skin from butternut squash and cut into half lengthwise. Remove the pulp and finely grate using a mandoline or other grater. You should have 3 cups tightly packed shredded squash.
- Meanwhile prepare milk-sugar syrup: place milk and sugar in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven. Cook the mixture until is gets thick and is reduced to about one fourth of the original quantity (30-45 minutes).
- Take the cardamom pods, remove the skins and grind the seeds into a fine powder with your mortar and pestle.
- In a large, wide bottomed pot, heat ghee on medium heat.
- Add the grated butternut squash to the melted ghee. With a big slotted spoon, gently mix and cook the squash for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the raw smell of squash disappears and color changes from yellow to orange-yellow.
- Add the ground almonds and condensed milk-sugar syrup, cardamom powder and rose water. Gently mix and stir constantly until the mixture comes together in a solid mass (10-15 minutes).
- Remove the halwa from heat and spread the mixture into a baking dish, allowing it to cool. Place dish, covered, into freezer for another hour to allow additional firming. Remove pan from freezer and cut halwa into small squares.
- Serve chilled, or store up to one week, refrigerated.