Wishing you all a very Prosperous, Safe &  
HAPPY DIWALI!! 


A cousin of my Mum used to bring, us kids, awesome fudges and other Indian sweets from a lovely town in north of India, Dehradun. It is located in the picturesque Doon Valley and is known for its prestigious educational institutions, is the home to the Indian Military Academy and the gateway to many Hindu pilgrimage towns. However, the name Dehradun always invokes the memories of my childhood – of it being the home to one of the finest sweet shops in the country.
The textures, the colours, the tastes, the combination of ingredients used to be so unique and nothing like what we used to have in general. In fact, I have never come across such wonderful sweet treats at any other place that I have visited so far in India. I especially remember this fudge with shredded bottle gourd and vermicelli that used to taste insanely delicious.
I got to visit Dehradun as a management student. As a part of the curriculum of our business management degree course, the students were taken for company visits to understand their HR practices. Our batch was taken to BHEL at Dehradun and while on our visit, I tried to hunt for sweet shops selling those goodies, but shortage of time and lack of knowledge about the city ended up in a futile hunt.
Drawing inspiration from those gorgeous fudges, I have tried to infusing those flavours into one of my favourite sweet of all – kalakand but with a pumpkin twist. After my savoury gluten free pumpkin post, I am celebrating pumpkin here in a sweet Indian fudge avatar.
You will need,
1 litre full cream milk (I used 6%)
1 litre full cream milk (for making cottage cheese)
½ cup (scant) sugar
A pinch of saffron
¾ – 1 tsp cardamom powder (adjust the amount to suit your taste)
¾ cup pumpkin puree (I used sugar pumpkin)
2 tbsp finely chopped pistachio
For the pumpkin puree, I used the sugar pumpkins.
Cut them in half (I cut them into wedges as it reduces the roasting time) and arrange them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or regular foil. Roast them at 180°C until the flesh is slightly browned and tender. Remove from oven and when the wedges/ halves are cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh and purée in the food processor or liquidiser.
Make cottage cheese from one litre of milk. Drain the whey and crumble the cottage cheese.
Boil the other one litre and reduce it to half the quantity. 
Add cottage cheese into the milk and cook further till the consistency is reduced to further half.
Now, add the pumpkin puree, sugar, saffron and cardamom powder.
Cook till the consistency resembles one thick mass. {However, you need to ensure that the mixture has some moisture left coz we want a moist fudge and not a dry one. Also, the fudge will thicken further on refrigeration}
{The whole process took me nearly three and a half hour as I reduced the milk on a low flame while I was finishing rest of my household chores}
Line a square tin with parchment or butter paper and transfer the contents in it. Level the top and sprinkle over the finely chopped pistachio. Cover the fudge with cling wrap (with the cling wrap touching the complete top surface of fudge mixture. This will prevent the surface from drying and forming a crust)
Cool and refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours, preferably overnight. Next day, cut into square and serve.
Note: Since canned pumpkin purée is not available easily here, I roast a few sugar pumpkins at a time and freeze the purée. It keeps for nearly a month.

Serves 8-10
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