December 11, 2011

Butternut Squash Payasam/Kheer

Many a times I have used the pumpkin that is available in the Indian grocery store to make soups, gravy dishes,  sambars and even in mixed vegetable curry .  But recently, I picked up this huge butternut squash from a local grocery to prepare soup for a potluck get together.  The appearance of the inside and the texture of the squash looked very similar to the pumpkin that is available in the Indian store.  To get things clarified, I went on the net to see if they both were the same but found out that they were obviously not the same but the names are frequently used interchangeably and they can be easily substituted in recipes.  

 Butternut Squash also known as butternut pumpkin in Australia is a type of winter squash and has a sweet nutty taste similar to that of pumpkin especially the sugar pumpkin or pie pumpkin.  It is a good source of fibre and Vitamin C apart from being an excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin E.  I made this payasam on the day of Karthigai Deepam as an offering to the God.....

8 ounces cubed butternut squash
4 whole cashews
1.5 cups of milk(low fat)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp powdered elaichi
few strands of saffron
1 table spoon broken cashews
little ghee

Cook the squash along with the cashews and some milk in the pressure cooker for up to one whistle or five minutes on low.  Make a smooth puree of this after it cools down adding little water to adjust the thickness.  
Bring this to stove top and let it come to a boil stirring all the time.  Let this boil for about a minute or two.  Add the sugar and let it combine well with the puree.  In the meanwhile, boil the milk nicely in the microwave.  Lower the heat on the stove and slowly add the boiled milk to the puree.  Mix well and let this cook after it comes to a boil for an additional minute on medium heat.  Take out a  ladle full of the milk in a cup, dissolve the saffron strands while it is hot and then add the elaichi powder. Take it back to the kheer.  Fry some broken cashews in ghee till golden brown and add it to the payasam.

For a more rich flavor use evaporated milk or even condensed milk. Serve it hot or cold!!!



  1. Kheer looks super delicious..:) Never tried using squash in a sweet treat..:)) Loved the innovative idea..
    Glad to be connected..:))

  2. Very unique and super delicious kheer..

  3. thanks Revathi...nice to know you too!!!