This year, my Deepavali sweet of choice is butternut squash halva a la carrot halva. It was an experimental project last year which turned out to be a hit, so this is a repeat performance.
Butternut squash is in season now and is just starting to show up at Farmer's markets and is really hard to resist. Besides it is very healthy and I end up using a lot of butternut and acorn squash through the winter when it is readily available.
1 large butternut squash
8 Tbsp butter (2 of the little slabs in a package) to make ghee
3 cups milk1/2 cup sugar (add more if you need more sweetness)
1 small 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
5-6 pods cardamom - seeds removed and powdered
1/4 cup cashews and sliced almonds
1) Make the ghee - In a small heavy saucepan melt the butter on low heat for about 1/2 hour. It becomes frothy on top and then becomes clear and you get the wonderful aroma of ghee. Don't let it burn.
2) Reduce the milk - In another heavy pan, boil the milk and then simmer on low heat. Add the cardomom powder, sugar and condensed milk and continue to simmer so that it reduces to less than half the amount.
3) Peel the butternut squash using a peeler, slice it into big pieces and shred using a grater or food processor.
4) In a large pan, heat about 2 tbsp of ghee. Fried the sliced nuts until golden brown and remove with a slotted spoon.
5) Add 5 tbsp more ghee to the pan. When it is warm, add the shredded squash and let it cook on medium heat for about 10 mins.
6) Now add the reduced milk and let it cook for 10 more mins and switch off the heat.
7) Garnish with fried nuts before serving.
I am submitted this recipe to the Vegetarian Thankgiving Recipe Carnival where you can get more ideas!!