Petha to the People

Brajajana sent me the following recipe in response to a pic I posted elsewhere of an uber loki. It’s for the Indian sweet by the name of petha. I can’t say that I endorse all the ingredients in the recipe (I am so not into alum powder), or that I like petha. In fact, I really don’t like petha. Brajajana may be the only person I know who actually has willingly had more than one piece.

Nevertheless, I thought it would be interesting to post the recipe.

If you have had any experience with petha, positive or negative, please feel free to post it in the comments section.



• 1 kg White Pumpkin (firm)
• 2 tsp Calcium Hydroxide (kitchen lime)
• ½ tsp Alum Powder (Fitkari)
• 3 drops Screwpine Essence (Kewra)
• 800 gm Sugar
• 1 tsp Rose Water
• 2 cups Water

How to make Petha:

• Dissolve alum powder in water (½ cup) and keep it aside.
• Dissolve kitchen lime in 1 litre water, strain with a clean cloth twice if required, and keep it aside.
• Wash, peel and deseed the pumpkin. Cut it into 25 mm. (1″) squares and prick each piece with a fork all over.
• Soak the pieces in lime water for 30 minutes.
• Drain the lime water and wash the pieces thoroughly under clean running water for 2-3 minutes.
• Put the pumpkin pieces in a bowl. Pour alum water on the pieces and shake the bowl so that all the pieces get evenly coated.
• Drain the alum water. Take sufficient amount of water in a heavy bottomed pan and boil the pumpkin pieces till they become soft and transparent.
• In the meantime, make syrup of sugar and water of 2 thread consistency.
• Put drained pumpkin pieces in the sugar syrup and boil till syrup becomes thick again.
• Turn off the flame and take out the pieces.
• Keep covered the syrup with a mesh, overnight.
• Again boil the syrup and add the pieces.
• Cook it for 3-4 minutes and turn off the flame. Let the pieces cool.
• Now sprinkle Kewra and rose water over the pieces. Allow petha to cool completely. Refrigerate it.
• Petha is ready to serve.


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