Kumara, cashew, and coconut halva

3 August 2013

Kumara, cashew, and coconut halva Halva is a type of dessert eaten in many places, from North Africa to Central and South Asia. There are a number of different types of halva: although it is most commonly made with either a seed butter or semolina base, in India and Pakistan it is often made from vegetables such as carrot or sweet potato. I decided to make a New Zealand version using kumara, and was very pleased with the result. Feel free to experiment with different nuts and dried fruits. You could even turn this into a vegan dessert, by replacing the milk with extra coconut milk.

  • For ten:
    450 g grated peeled kumara (about two large kumara)
    400 ml coconut milk
    350 ml milk
    50 g dessicated coconut
    30 g dried apricots, chopped
    30 g raisins
    8 cardamom pods
    70 g cashews, chopped
    70 g palm or brown sugar
  • Combine the kumara, coconut milk, milk, dessicated coconut, dried fruits, and cardamom in a wide saucepan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 20–30 minutes or until the liquid has disappeared and the kumara is soft.
  • Stir in the cashews and sugar and cook for an extra two minutes, until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Press the mixture into ten non-stick muffin tins, and chill for at least two hours before serving. Serve with a dollop of thick yoghurt.