This creamy Pumpkin Halwa, or kaddu ka halwa, is the perfect fall dessert for celebrating Indian festivals. Fresh pumpkin is simmered down into a pudding-like consistency and topped with toasted cashews and golden raisins. It's incredibly rich in flavor and suitable to enjoy for breakfast or a light evening dessert.
In a large pan on low to medium heat, add a tablespoon of ghee. Once it has melted, toss in halved cashews and golden raisins. Sauté them for about 2 minutes, or until the raisins are plump and the cashews are golden. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
Add two more tablespoons of ghee to the remaining ghee in the pan. Then, transfer the grated pumpkin to the pan. Sauté the pumpkin in the ghee until the strands are glassy, and the smell of raw pumpkin has significantly reduced, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the sugar into the pan and stir it into the pumpkin. The mixture will become very watery. Simmer it until the excess moisture has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Next, add the milk and desiccated coconut. Continue to simmer until the milk has evaporated and the pumpkin takes on a bit of a mushy, creamy texture. The ghee will release on the side and the halwa should be completely thickened, with no excess moisture.
Remove the pan from heat and stir in the cardamom powder and the roasted cashews and raisins.
(Optional) Drizzle additional ghee on top. Serve warm or chilled.