Ash Gourd Halwa (Kashi halwa, Kushmanda halwa)
Ash gourd halwa is a dessert that tastes best when is served hot, warm or chilled. Ash gourd halwa is served as part of special breakfast, special lunches/dinner, also as part of high tea in India. This dessert is enjoyed as is or with a scoop of ice cream on top.
Ash gourd halwa requires a little patience to make. Grating ash gourd can be quite a task and cooking it through can be slow. If you are looking for a quick dessert that’s easy to make, try bottle gourd halwa. It tastes similar to ash gourd halwa & is a quicker version of it.
Ash gourd halwa is known by many names. Kashi halwa, kushmandal halwa are it's popular names. It is known as kuvale halwa in Konkani, budkumbalkai halwa in Kannada, petha ka halwa in Hindi.
- 1/2kg ash gourd
- Upto 1/2 kg sugar
- A teaspoon of cardamom powder
- 5-8 tablsespoons of ghee
- A pinch of food colour - yellow
- A tablespoon of cashews/pistachios/almonds
- A tablespoon of raisins
Preparation Time: 60 minutes
What kind of ash gourd to choose:
Use fresh ash gourd to make this halwa. You could use tender or mature ash gourd.
- Peel ash gourd, chop it into slices. Then chop off it’s inner core where it’s seeds are attached. More info on this, below in the side note.
- Then grate each slice.
- Transfer grated ash gourd into a wok and cook it until it's cooked through on medium heat. Ash gourd cooks in it’s water. Do not add any water.
- Saute once in a while to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once it’s cooked through, it would have reduced in quantity considerably. Most of it’s water would have evaporated and the colour of grated ash gourd would have changed completely.
- Then add in sugar and mix well. Add sugar according to how sweet you would like your halwa to be. You can add upto equal amounts of sugar and ash gourd, but that might turn out to be a litle too sweet. So, add a little less initially and increase gradually if needed.
- Let it cook on medium flame until you get a nice syrupy consistency.
- When you touch halwa in a spoon, you should get a sticky feel. Halwa should stick to the spoon. That’s the right sticky, syrupy consistency you need.
- Then add in cardamom powder, ghee and mix well.
- Add a pinch of food colour dissolved in a tablespoon of water and mix well.
- Heat ghee in another tempering pan, fry chopped cashews/almonds/pistachios for 2 minutes or until cashews turn golden brown in colour. Remove it off heat, add in raisins to the tempering pan and mix well. Add this to the simmering halwa.
- When stirred, once halwa moves around easily in the pan (doesn't stick to the pan or the laddle) and once ghee starts to separate out from the halwa, remove it off heat.
- Serve halwa hot, once cooled or chilled and enjoy!
- You can also serve this ash gourd halwa with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
- If you’re using a tender ash gourd to make this halwa, then you need not deseed it. The tender seeds will cook through and are a pleasure to eat when present in halwa.
- If you’re using slightly mature ash gourd then remove the seeds using sharp edges of a peeler and do not chop off the centre, inner portion of ash gourd. You won’t have much of ash gourd left in each of the slices then.
- If you’re using fully mature ash gourd then you can chop off the centre, inner core of ash gourd and get away with lots of mature seeds present. You would then still be left with lots of ash gourd for use. However, it could vary from ash gourd to ash gourd.
- Always buy a tender ash gourd that feels heavy when you hold it. The older it gets more number of seeds would have developed inside, which you need to discarded and hence the net amount of pulp you get to use would be less.
- To make cardamom powder, peel 8-10 cardamoms and grind cardamom seeds in a dry mixer jar. This mixer helps you grind even such a small amount within seconds.
Tags: Ash gourd, kashi halwa, kushmandal halwa, kuvale, kuvale halwa, Indian dessert, Indian sweet, festival food, Boodu Kumbalakai Halwa, Dumroot Halwa, White pumpkin Halwa, Budkumbalkai Halwa, Petha ka halwa