Petha or winter melon sweet has been on my radar for some time now.It is not an easy thing to make at home or so was what I felt.
It has been a favorite take away or bring home sweet for my father. I do not think I was ever intrigued about what goes in to its making back then. This new found interest was developed when i tested the syrupy pethas from Haldiram's Nagpur.
1 Kg Ash gourd / Winter Melon/ Petha ( peeled and deseeded )
600 gm sugar (If you like sweeter then use 750 gm)
1 tbsp alum
1 tspn rose water
1) Soak the alum in 1 litre water. Cut the melon in 1 inch pieces and put them in the alum water for 2 hours or so.
2) Remove the pieces and wash under tap water for 2-3 min thoroughly cleaning each and every piece
3) Boil the pieces in fresh water until the pieces are tender and transparent. For about 4-5 min with lid.
4) Drain the pieces from water and put in bowl containing the measured sugar.
5) Let the melons drip their water in the sugar. Leave for about 30-45 min.
6) Remove the melon pieces and set aside. Heat the sugar syrup to make 2 string consistency syrup.
7)Add the melon pieces and reduce the heat and let it simmer till you get a 3 thread consistency. Add the rose water and let it simmer for 4-5 min.
8) Drain the pieces and put it in dish and let it cool. It is ready to eat after 12 hrs
Sprinkle with kesar flavored sugar syrup later and serve. Stays well for 2-3 weeks without refrigeration.