Butternut squash is mostly used to make soups or used in baking. I wanted to make a dessert using the butternut squash as it has a naturally sweet and nutty taste. I tried making the payasam as it requires very few ingredients and the cooking time is also less. The below recipe serves 4.
PREP TIME: 10 Mins (excluding the time to soak almonds)
COOKING TIME: 25 Mins
Butternut Squash – 300 grams
Sugar – 5 teaspoons
Condensed Milk – 100 ml
Saffron – 15 strands
Milk – 120 ml
Almonds – 10 (soaked in water for 1 hour)
Water – 100 ml(Optional)
Salt – 1 pinch
STEP 1: Wash the butternut squash, peel the skin, remove seeds and chop them into cubes
STEP 2: Remove the skin from the soaked almonds.
STEP 3: Pressure cook the butternut squash, almonds and milk until the mixture becomes mushy. (4 – 5 whistles)
STEP 4: Take the saffron strands and soak it in warm milk.
STEP 5: Using a hand blender, blend the butternut squash and almonds to make a puree.
STEP 6: Add the pureed mixture to a pan and cook for 5 minutes.
STEP 7: Add the saffron – milk, condensed milk and sugar (You can add little water if the mixture is too thick). Mix well and cook for 10 minutes.
STEP 8: Add a pinch of salt. This helps to elevate the flavour of the dish.
STEP 9: Once the mixture comes to room temperature, refrigerate for a couple of hours and serve chilled.
TIP: I have used both condensed milk and sugar to sweeten the payasam but you can use either one. If you do not have time to soak the almonds, you can also skip that step and follow the same recipe.