Doodhi Halwa

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Ever been to Mahim ? It’s a quaint old neighborhood in Mumbai that’s supposedly pronounced with a silent “m” so, Mahi which is a contraction of Mahikavati.. but for me it’s always been Mahim.  Mahim was one of the seven islands that originally made up Mumbai and one of the most famous places around here is the mausoleum of Makhdoom Ali Mahimi , a revered Muslim scholar who as legend says, was known to have supernatural powers . The construction of the mausoleum took place in 1431 A.D . Well I’m not deviating, but right next to this  Mausoleum is a “mithai” (Sweetmeat) shop. It’s there where I have found the perfect doodhi ka halwa. Doodhi/Dudhi is better known as ” Bottle gourd ” and “halwa” being our very delicious mithai/sweetmeat. Rich and so very moist. Not as sweet as “gajar ka halwa” but with a subtlety that lets the deliciousness linger. Wrapped in butter paper, this used to be the only treat that I would look forward to if I knew someone had even passed through Mahim. It had been years since I even had Doodhi ka halwa and when I saw these at the market recently, I knew what I had to make.

I have made this twice this past week itself, using two different techniques but achieving the same beloved.  The recipe I am giving is prepared in under 20 minutes and uses khoya, however if you plan on using whole milk or if you don’t have khoya, just use 3 cups milk and it’ll be ready in around an hour.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 kg bottle gourd (Peeled and grated)
  • 50 grams ghee
  • 300 grams sugar (Adjust according to taste)
  • 200 grams Khoya/Mava/Khova
  • few drops green food color (Optional)
  • 10-15 slivered almonds/pistachios/cashews
  • 5 cardamom pods ground to a fine powder or 1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Recipe:

Grate the doodhi.

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In a wide pan, pour half of the ghee and add in the doodhi.Saute it for around 5 minutes. Add in the sugar.

Let the water from the doodhi evaporate, and once it does, add in the rest of the ghee.

Mix well and stir in the khoya and cardamom .

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Once the khoya is added, stir for around 4-5 minutes until no more water is remaining. If you’re using the food color, add in now and mix well.

Add in half of the almonds.

Remove from heat and serve warm with some slivered almonds on top.

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Here, have a bite!

Serve warm.

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