Pumpkin was never a major part of my life growing up and not something we made at home often. Weekend eat outs would sometimes have pumpkin desserts which we devoured but never requested Ammi to make. Then, there were community dinners that sometimes featured pumpkin halwa, which I liked but still preferred Ammi's bottle gourd halwa, carrot, apple and pineapple halwa hands down.
Until, our school declared a pumpkin carving week one fine year (halloween is not celebrated in part of the world), which we sisters took on very enthusiastically (and we ended up doing it all wrong!), leaving us with lots of pumpkin, of all kinds as we were rather clueless what pumpkin is good for carving.
In other things, if you are eying that wooden board on which the pumpkins are, like I'm - they are from Ecru - a home and lifestyle store that I worked with earlier this month to photo shoot for their website. The ecru team gave me a lot of creative freedom and after a little brainstorming, we ended up taking inspiration from four seasons, to style and photograph the products.
More photos here.
Pumpkin and Orange Halwa
While orange cake in halwa is amazing, I don't always have orange cake to add, instead orange zest adds the same citrusy flavour without any added calories or gluten from the cake. That said, M prefers plain pumpkin halwa over orange added one, so you could go any route with this.
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 tbsp ghee
2 cardamom pods, seeds grounded to powder
Zest of one orange
Thick cream/whipped cream, optional
Roasted almonds and pistachio for garnishing
Heat the ghee in a heavy bottom saucepan and add the cardamom skins.
As it sizzles, add the shredded pumpkin, orange zest and roast it on low flame for about 10 minutes. This caramelizes and brings out the natural sweetness of the pumpkin.
Add the milk and let it cook till most of the milk is evaporated. Add in the sugar and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
Serve warm or cold garnished with nuts and dollop of thick cream.