Petha is a popular Indian sweet. It is soft chewy and candy-like, eaten dry or dipped in sugar syrup (chashni). It is known to have originated in Agra.
- 1 kg white pumpkin-large and hard
- 2 tsp chemical lime
- 3/4 kg (3 cups) sugar
- 3 cups water
- 2 Tbsp milk mixed with 2 tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3-4 green cardamoms-peeled and crushed
- 1 tsp gulab jal
- Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds and the soft, fibrous portion.
- Cut into large thick slices.
- Prick well with a fork all over.
- Dissolve 1 tsp of chemical lime in enough water to cover the pumpkin pieces.
- Soak them in this water and wash well. Cut into cubes.
- Make lime water solution with the remaining tsp of chemical lime.
- Soak the pumpkin pieces once more in the freshly made lime water for 2 hours.
- Drain pieces and wash thoroughly, squeezing out water and rinsing again so that no trace of lime remains.
- Boil enough water to take in the pumpkin pieces, add the pieces to it and cook till soft and transparent.
- Meanwhile, fill 3 cups of water and the sugar in a pan; place over low heat, stirring till sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil.
- Add the lemon juice and the cardamoms and cook till it reaches 'one thread' consistency.
- Skim off any foam that may collect along the sides of the pan.
- Keep the syrup warm.
- When the pumpkin pieces are cooked, drain with a slotted spoon and transfer into the syrup.
- Simmer for a couple minutes, take off stove and add the rose water and mix well.
- Cool and serve.