Kashi halwa | Ash gourd halwa | Dumrot step-by-step recipe with photos.
What is Kashi halwa
Kashi halwa or ash gourd halwa is a traditional sweet dish from Karnataka. This is an easy dessert made with just three main ingredients - ash gourd, sugar, and ghee. It is also called dumrot, dumroot or kushmada halwa. This less-known halwa is an integral part of festivals, celebrations, and weddings in Karnataka.
Despite originating from the Udipi-Mangalore region in Karnataka, it is named after Kashi, which is a holy place in Uttar Pradesh in north India. The reason behind it being named Kashi halwa is unknown. Maybe because ash gourd is called kashi phal (kashi fruit) in Hindi? Irrespective of why it is called so, this is a dessert you should definitely try. You will be pleasantly surprised by its divine taste.
Selecting ash gourd
The key ingredient in making this halwa is ash gourd (also known as winter melon/wax melon/white pumpkin or "Boodu Kumbalakai" in Kannada). This versatile vegetable is known for its health benefits. It is believed to help with digestion, reduce inflammation, and boosts immunity.
When buying ash gourd, make sure it does not have any blemish and has smooth outer skin. The skin should be pale green in colour and have what appears like a white dusty coating. The ash gourd should feel heavy for its weight.
Kashi halwa is very different when compared to halwa made with other vegetables - both in terms of ingredients and in terms of texture. This halwa is very unique when compared to other classic halwas. Milk is not used in making this halwa unlike halwa made with other vegetables like carrot or bottle gourd. And because there is no milk, the sugar that is added gets caramelised giving the ash gourd a unique candy-like texture. Also, since milk is not used, the cooking time for this halwa is relatively less.
Ash gourd: Use good-quality fresh ash gourd for best-tasting halwa.
Ghee: Like most Indian sweet dishes, ghee is one of the main ingredients in making this halwa.
Sugar: I use raw sugar to make the halwa. However, it can be replaced with regular white sugar.
Cashew: Cashew adds a great crunch to the halwa.
Cardamom powder: This is an optional ingredient but I highly recommend using it as cardamom powder adds a very good aroma and flavour to the dish.
Measurements to get the perfect Kashi halwa
The ash gourd I used in this recipe was approximately 1 kg. After peeling the skin, it gave me just over 5 cups of grated ash gourd. The sugar and ghee I have used are according to this quantity. Grate the ash gourd and measure it so that you can adjust the other two ingredients. Also, the amount of sugar gives me a mildly sweet halwa as I prefer it that way. If you like your halwa to be on the sweeter side, increase the amount of sugar accordingly
Click here for more halwa recipes.
- is unique and tastes very different from the halwa made with other vegetables like carrot and bottle gourd
- uses no milk thereby reducing the cooking time
- has a unique candy-like texture
- keeps fresh for up to a week in the refrigerator and up to one month when frozen
Step by step instructions
1. Grate ash gourd using a food processor or box grater
2. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the ash gourd is cooked and it dries up, stirring occasionally
3. Add sugar and saffron. Mix and let it cook for 8-10 minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved
4. The sugar will release some water and thicken. Keep stirring occasionally
5. Add ghee and mix well. Simmer until the ghee starts to release
6.Add fried cashew and cardamom powder. Mix well
Kashi Halwa | Ash gourd halwa | Dumrot
- 5 cups ash gourd
- ¾ - 1 cup sugar (depending on preference)
- ½ cup ghee
- ½ teaspoon saffron
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 2-3 tablespoon cashew
- Wash and peel ash gourd. Grate it using a food processor or box grater
- Transfer to a thick-bottom pan along with all its liquid
- Cook for 20-25 minutes until the ash gourd is cooked and it dries up, stirring occasionally
- Add sugar and saffron. Mix and let it cook for 8-10 minutes or until the sugar is completely disolved
- The sugar will release some water and thicken. Keep stirring occasionally
- Add ghee and mix well
- Simmer until the ghee starts to release
- Add cardamom powder and mix well
- In a small pan, heat 1 teaspoon ghee and add cashew. Fry until they are golden
- Add the fried cashew to the halwa
- Serve warm
Click here to watch Kashi halwa web story.