It has been a while since I last posted any recipe. My kids and my garden have been keeping me way too occupied to sit down and write a post. Now it is my garden only that has brought me out of this hibernation. We totally redid our kitchen garden this year , and I went overboard planting tomatoes and zucchinis and some other vegetables…not that I am complaining. My tomatoes are still green and I am using my tomato puree from last year. I had a huge amount of zucchini last year ,that I shared with my friends and family and also wasted some that got scary big in size… like 2 feet long… This year I started with half the number of zucchini plants and trying to pluck them while they are still a foot or shorter…Despite of this, we still have enough zucchinis to eat for every meal, every day!
Since this is my first blog post in a long time, I am going to start my zucchini special with a dessert , Zucchini Halwa ! It is very similar to lauki halwa, which is also a summer squash. Lauki has a thicker and waxier peel so you have to peel it before making anything with it. But zucchini on the other hand has a tender peel that you can leave on and it provides a nice colour to the halwa.
Like all the summer squashes, zucchini also has a high water content. To make the halwa you have to coarsely grate the zucchini and that releases a lot of water . I just left the zucchini in a strainer for half an hour till most of the water was released and then started with the halwa. If you don’t want to wait that extra half hour you can put zucchini in a tea towel and just squeeze the excess water out. If you miss this extra step, you will be spending a whole lot of time standing at the stove and drying the extra water, so don’t skip this step.
I made a fairly big batch, cause I had a fairly big zucchini to start with… the one that was hidden under all the thick leaves and escaped my keen eye for a couple weeks. It did have more seeds than a smaller zucchini and I discarded those. But the big zucchini did yield about 5 cups of grated zucchini that resulted in about 8 servings of the halwa. It can be served warm or cold, tastes great either way.
Zucchini about 5 cups grated and squeezed dry about 3-4 medium zucchinis
2 tbsp butter
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup powder milk
1/2 cup sugar ( 3/4 if you want it sweeter) or Sugar free sweetener ( Splenda/Stevia /Monkfruit)
1/4 cup blanched and slivered almonds
1 tsp cardamom powder about 8-10 green cardamoms
Coarsely grate and then squeeze dry the zucchini.
In a heavy bottom pan pan melt the butter at medium high heat and add the grated zucchini. Stir it often for about 5 minutes till the zucchini is lightly cooked.
Add half and half and reduce the heat to medium. Stir it every so often, so the cream doesn’t scald. Add the almonds at this time, so they absorb some moisture and remain soft.
Keep stirring it till most of the cream has evaporated about 15 minutes and then add powder milk and stir some more .
Once the halwa looks a little dry , add the sugar. The halwa will release some water .
Keep cooking it at medium heat , stirring continuously , so as not to burn the sugar.
Once the halwa starts leaving the sides of the pan and is dry, add the cardamom powder. Mix well and take it off the heat.
Let it cool a little before serving or cool it completely and refrigerate.