EVENT: A- Z RECIPE CHALLENGE
THEME : AN INGREDIENT BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER Z
RECIPE: ZUCCHINI HALWA – VEGAN
Zucchini Halwa is dairy free, melt in the mouth, flavorful, aromatic halwa cooked in the Indian style. If you are a fan of doodhi ka halwa or bottle gourd halwa then you’ll surely love this one. My blog follower requested I make an Indian sweet but vegan. Lots of Indian sweets are made from dairy milk, or will have ghee (clarified butter).
Recently, for my online shopping Iist I wrote 1 zucchini and I got 1 kg! That is a lot of zucchini. Used it to make zucchini paneer appe (recipe to follow soon), used some for handvo, added to my baked pasta. That is when I thought why not make zucchini halwa just the way we make either carrot or bottle gourd halwa.
I am so glad I made this halwa. With coconut milk, cardamom, a bit of nutmeg and almond pieces, Zucchini Halwa, vegan style was a delightful treat for us.
What is Zucchini?
Zucchini also known as courgette or baby marrow is actually a summer squash. Zucchini is a versatile fruit. Yes, you read right, it is a fruit but most people call it a vegetable. Enjoy it raw, grill it, bake it, sauté it, roast it. It is commonly added to quick breads or muffins, to pasta or baked dishes. These days one can make zoodles, zucchini noodles a healthy alternate to normal noodles or spaghetti. Zucchini looks like a cucumber.
A bit about the group
A – Z Recipe Challenge group started by fellow bloggers Vidya and Jolly, is themed based. This month we have to use any ingredient whose English name begins with the letter Z. Not a wide choice of ingredients beginning with Z. There is zucchini and Za’atar. We have reached the end of this challenge with A -Z ingredients, all names in English. Next season is A-Z ingredients that begin in Hindi. Now that too is going to be challenging as quite a few letters have no ingredients. Dish names yes but not ingredients.
Some Ideas How To Use Zucchini:
- Replace eggplant with zucchini as my sister in law does – Papdi and Zucchini Shaak
- My niece likes to bake Eggless Zucchini Bread Muffins
- Zucchini Boats is a fun way to get kids to enjoy zucchini. Stuff them with vegetables, pasta, rice, meat, etc.
- Enjoy a Spinach and Zucchini Soup with your favorite bread.
Ingredients Required For Zucchini Halwa:
- Fresh Zucchini – grated. Before you grate it, slice a small piece from both ends and taste. Occasionally zucchini can be bitter.
- Coconut Oil – since I’ve prepared a vegan version, I used coconut oil. However, if you don’t follow a vegan diet then you can replace it ghee as it gives a wonderful aroma and taste too.
- Coconut Milk – I’ve used canned coconut milk.
- Coconut Flour – optional, I used it as I had some and it helps to thicken the halwa faster. Can use almond flour too.
- Almonds – roughly chopped and roasted lightly.
- Organic Sugar – use according to your taste
- Cardamom Powder – elachi
- Nutmeg Powder – jaiphal
ZUCCHINI HALWA - VEGAN
- 2½ cups zucchini (approx. 500g) grated
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 4 tbsp coconut flour or almond flour
- ¼ -⅓ cup organic sugar
- 15-20 almonds
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- ¼ tsp nutmeg powder
Prepare The Almonds:
- Chop the almonds roughly and roast in a pan over low heat for a minute, stirring all the time.
- Remove from the pan into a plate and allow them to cool.
Preparation Of Zucchini Halwa
- Grate the zucchini.
- Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
- Add zucchini and stir fry it till it becomes a bit soft. This will take about 2-3 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and allow the mixture to simmer.
- Stir frequently so that the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Allow the mixture to simmer till the milk evaporates and the zucchini is completely soft. This will take about 20-25 minutes. At this stage you can mash the mixture a bit.
- Add the coconut flour and sugar. Mix well.
- Because the sugar will melt, the mixture will appear liquidy again.
- Keep stirring the mixture till it becomes thick and comes away from the sides of the pan.
- Also the oil will begin to leave the mixture and you will see it at the edges. This is a sign that the halwa is done. This takes about 7-10 minutes.
- Add the chopped almonds, cardamom and nutmeg powders. Mix well.
- Serve it hot or chilled.
- Make sure you taste the ends of the zucchini before you grate it as it can be bitter sometimes.
- Can use vegan ghee if available in your area.
- Use almond flour instead of coconut flour.
- Can replace coconut milk with any other nut milk of your choice.
- I did not peel the zucchini.
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