For the halwa
3 tbsp ghee
350g courgettes, grated
400ml full-fat milk
2 vanilla pods, split open lengthways
60g khoya (solidified milk, available at Indian sweet shops)
½ tsp ground cardamom
For the pastry
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
A pinch of ground cardamom
1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
A pinch of salt
100g butter, cut into 1cm cubes
2 egg yolks
For the ice cream
300ml double cream
300ml full-fat milk
6 large egg yolks
100g plain naan, toasted and crumbled
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sugar-coated vanilla pods
Heat the ghee in a heavy-based pan and sauté the courgettes. Add the milk and vanilla pods, and simmer until the milk has evaporated. Add the khoya and cook, stirring constantly, for a further 10 minutes, until the mixture is soft and fudge-like. Add the sugar and cardamom, stirring well to dissolve. Discard the vanilla pods and set the halwa aside to cool.
Combine the flour, cardamom, fennel seeds and salt in a bowl. Cream the butter and sugar in a separate bowl until pale, then beat in the egg yolks. Add the flour mixture and stir well to form a soft dough. Tip it on to a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball. Flatten slightly, then wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes. Grease eight 6cm loose-bottomed tartlet tins. Roll out the chilled dough on a clean floured surface to a thickness of 3mm and cut out 8 circles, larger than the tins. Lightly press a pastry circle into each tin, then run the rolling pin over the top to remove the excess pastry. Using your fingers, gently press the pastry up the sides of the tins to slightly build up the height. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork.
Line each pastry case with baking paper and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake in an oven preheated to 200°C for 15–20 minutes, until the edges are golden. Lift out the paper and beans and return the cases to the oven for another 5 minutes to crisp up the base. Set aside in the tins to cool before removing from the mould and filling with the halwa.
Bring the cream and milk to a gentle boil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Set aside. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together in a bowl until pale. Pour in the warm cream mixture a little at a time, stirring constantly. Return to the saucepan and cook over a gentle heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. Do not let it boil. Strain into a clean, dry bowl and stir in the naan, honey and pepper. Transfer to an ice-cream machine and freeze until firm. Alternatively, place the mixture in a plastic container and freeze until half-frozen (about 1 hour). Stir with a fork to break up the ice crystals. Repeat this process twice more, then freeze completely.
Place the tartlets filled with courgette halwa on individual plates. Put a quenelle of ice cream on top and garnish with a sugar-coated vanilla pod.