Dudhi halwa (bottle gourd pudding)

I like puddings that have vegetables in them – showing the sweet side of their nature. It also makes me feel I’m getting one of my five-a-day (ignoring all the sweet stuff). A classic is carrot cake. Or in India, carrot halwa which is a sweet pudding made from carrots, sugar, milk and a few other ingredients. I normally eat bottle gourd (known as “dudhi” in Gujarati) as a shak/curry. Occasionally, if I add chick pea lentils it can be a delicious dal. Yesterday I decided to try out an Indian dessert called Dudhi Halwa tweaking the recipe slightly to make a smaller amount .

Indian desserts are hardly ever good for you – they often contain sugar, clarified butter (ghee), milk and khoya which is made from buffalo milk and is a creamy ingredient. This is no exception – however, as it’s so sweet, you are unlikely to have too much. And anyway, a treat every now and then keeps a girl happy.

Once again, I apologise for the blurred images. Must must MUST sort out my camera soon. Hope you can see OK.


  • 1 cup bottle gourd. Peel hard skin off, finely grate the flesh. If yours has seeds in it, remove these before grating. 1 cup is roughly half a dudhi – I put the other cup of grated dudhi in the freezer as an experiment.
  • 1 cup full fat milk
  • 2 tbs clarified butter / ghee (see prep below)
  • 1 cardamom dry roasted then powdered in a pestle and mortar (discard the outer skin, pound black seeds only)
  • 2 tbs caster sugar (granulated would do just as well but as caster sugar is finer, it dissolved faster).
  • For garnish – 4 almonds. Soaked in hot water, then remove skin and cut into thin slivers. Also use pistachios if you have them which you just simply slice into slivers.
  • At some point I will do a post on making ghee at home. However, for the pudding I cheated. I put 20g of anchor butter in a small point and brought to heat. When the salt had separated, I took off the heat. Then carefully poured out the clarified butter leaving the salt in the pot.


Method – as per original recipe. Copied below for convenience. Blurred photos are all mine I’m afraid.


  1. Heat a heavy bottom pan over medium heat, add ghee.
  2. Add grated doodhi and saute until it turns translucent.
  3. Add the milk and bring to boil.
  4. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. When halwa is almost dry, add sugar, mix well.
  6. Stir continuously until moisture has evaporated.
  7. Turn off the heat and add cardamom powder, mix well.
  8. Garnish with sliced almonds and pista, Serve.

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