I have been meaning to make Kasi Halwa for the longest time but have been putting it off for one reason or the other. This week, when my father got 1 Kg of White Pumpkin/Ash Gourd (known as Boodida Gummidikaya in Telugu or Poosinikai in Tamil, and Safed Bhopla in Hindi & Marathi), I got the perfect chance.
While Dudhi Halwa (Halwa made with Bottle Gourd) is very popular in the West and North of India, in South India it is Kasi Halwa that rules the roost on special occasions. It is easy to make and does not need a lot of time.
Many a time, you will see that Kasi Halwa is bright orange in colour because food colour added to it. I do not like to use food colour and so have used saffron.
How to Make Kasi Halwa | Gummidikaya Halwa | Poosanikai Halwa
Time: 45 Minutes
- Grated White Pumpkin, Poosinikai or Boodida Gummidikaya – 3 Cups
- Sugar – 1.5 Cups
- Saffron Strands – 16 to 20
- Green Cardamom – 6
- Cashews – 12
- Ghee – 2 tbsp (vegans can use Oil)
Method to Make Kasi Halwa
- Soak in the saffron strands in 2 tbsp warm water.
- Peel the green cardamom and pound the seeds to a fine powder.
- In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat the ghee.
- Break the cashews into quarters and sautee in the ghee till the pieces just start to change colour.
- Add the grated poosinikai or boodida gummidikaya.
- Over medium heat, stir-fry till the poosinikai softens and the water evapourates.
- Add the saffron water, sugar, and cardamom powder.
- Mix well.
- Over medium heat, stir-fry till the poosinikai absorbs all the water from the sugar.
- Turn off the heat.
- Serve warm, at room temperature or even cold!
- Be careful after adding the sugar. Cook till the water released by the sugar is absorbed. The halwa should slide off the spoon.
- If you overcook the halwa or then cook on a high flame, the sugar will crystalize.