“Halwa” is one of the most authentic dessert that is loved by every Indian across the world. However, the recipe passed down through generations, differs from one region of India to the other. Halwa is essentially made by adding milk, ghee and sugar to flour, vegetable or a fruit. The list of halwa is endless, but the most favorite ones are Carrot halwa, Dudhi halwa and moong dal halwa. Today I am excited to share with you, the recipe of rich and creamy halwa using a vegetable called Dudhi, also known as bottle gourd, lauki or opo.
My usual visit to farmers market gets exciting when I lay my eyes on round dudhi. It’s a seasonal vegetable and so dudhi halwa becomes a seasonal treat in our house. You can make this halwa using regular long dudhi too, but it’s much tastier with this seasonal dudhi.
There are various ways of making dudhi halwa; some use condensed milk and others use regular milk. I like the traditional version which calls for regular milk and mava (khoya). I rarely use food color in my cooking so I have left it out in this recipe, but if you like your halwa to look more attractive, you can add a few drops of green color at the end.
Hope you enjoy this recipe!
- 1 kg Dudhi (bottle gourd/ opo squash- preferable round ones, if that is not available the regular long dudhi also works fine), peeled & grated
- 500 ml Milk
- 2 tablespoon Ghee
- 350 gms Mava, grated (Khoa- concentrated milk solid, readily available in Indian Grocery store. I used 1 pack of khoa – 340gms)
- 2- 1/4 cup Sugar (adjust sweetness as per your taste)
- Couple of strands of Saffron (kesar), crush in your palm and soak in 2 tablespoon of warm milk
- Rasins and chopped Pistachio, Almonds for garnishing
- Cardamom powder (optional)
- Heat a deep pan, add ghee, grated dudhi and milk. Mix well, cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium flame for about 15 mins stirring occasionally.
- Remove the lid and cook for about 30 mins on medium heat, stirring occasionally so that it does not stick to the pan. Increase the heat to high every-time while you are stirring and reduce it back to medium while it simmers.
- Add grated mava and sugar, mix well. Cook for about 30-40 mins on medium-low heat. The Halwa will start loosing its moisture, so you will need to lower the heat accordingly.
- Add saffron milk to the halwa and mix well, cook till the halwa looses all its moisture and is completely dried up.
- Remove from heat, add cardamom powder and mix well and garnish it with Rasins, Pistachio, Almonds.
- You can use green color instead of saffron. I try to stay away as much as possible from artificial stuff and so add saffron instead, it gives nice light yellow color to the halwa. If using saffron, crush it in your palms with dry hands and mix in warm milk, keep aside for some time before adding it to the halwa.
- Towards the end of the cooking process due to lack of moisture halwa will start sticking to the bottom of the pan, make sure you are stirring it more often and also reduce the heat to low.
- If you prefer more moisture in your halwa you can stop cooking it once it starts really sticking to the pan.
- If you like a bit more dry halwa then cook a bit more. You will know that the halwa is done when it leaves the sides of the pan forming a big lump and will be bit more drier then before.