Sweet Spice Pumpkin Bites
. 1 medium pumpkin (any pumpkin of your choice)
. 2 cups jaggery or brown sugar
. 1 medium orange or tangerine
. 2-3 cinnamon sticks
. 4 cups water
. 1 tbsp ghee
1) First begin by slicing the orange or tangerine into thin half moon shapes. Then place the sliced oranges, jaggery, cinnamon sticks and water into a large heavy bottomed pot. Begin cooking on medium high heat.
2) While the jaggery is melting in the pot, begin seeding the pumpkin and then chopping into bite sized pieces. Make sure to keep the hard skin on the pumpkin pieces. The hard skin prevents the pumpkin from turning into pumpkin mash after cooking.
3)When the jaggery is fully melted and the sugar water has come to a boil, it is time to add the pumpkin pieces into the pot. Place each piece if pumpkin into the pot face down. It is alright if in the end there are pumpkin pieces that are not fully submerged in the sugar water.
4) Bring the sugar water back to a boil.
5) When it begins to boil reduce the heat to low and place a lid on the pot. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
6) Make sure to check and stir the pumpkin every 20 minutes or so.
7) You will know when the pumpkin is done by using the knife test. If the knife goes through the pumpkin very easily it is done.
8) Now we are going to thicken the spiced sugar water and make a syrup. Using a slotted spoon, take all the pumpkin chunks out of the pot into a separate bowl. Bring the heat to medium high and add the tablespoon of ghee and begin cooking the spiced sugar water until it reduces to half.
9) When the syrup has reduced to half, turn the heat off and add all the cooked pumpkin pieces back into the pot. Let sit for an hour to soak up more of the sweet juices.
By Madhavi Devi Dasi