Kashi halwa | Ash gourd halwa | Dumroot halwa | White pumpkin halwa | Kushmanda halwa

Kashi halwa is an Indian dessert from the Udupi region of Karnataka and it is often part of festive meals & wedding breakfast menu. As a child, in the rare occasion that I would take break from school to attend family weddings; this would be one of those delicacies that I would look forward to in breakfast having no idea what it was made of… all that mattered at the time was it tasted totally delicious! The crazily sweet-toothed me could hardly wait for a second serving of kushmanda halwa.😆

It is made of ash gourd or boodkumbalkai. It is a rich amalgamation of white pumpkin, sugar, ghee, dry fruits, cardamom and saffron and tastes absolutely divine.😇

I had been stalling making this dessert for so many years thinking it would be difficult to make and I might not be able to match the taste of adige bhattru (professional cooks) from Udupi who make this delicacy for the wedding meals. Trust me the dish is super easy to make and not very time consuming either. Sharing below a simple recipe to this delectable traditional Indian sweet.

Recipe serves 3


  • 500gm ash gourd (1cup grated)
  • 1/4cup sugar
  • 2-3tbsp ghee
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 8-10 cashewnuts
  • 1tbsp raisins
  • 1tbsp milk
  • A generous pinch of saffron


  1. Rinse the ash gourd, peel the skin, remove pith & seeds and cut in long fingers for ease in grating. Grate using the wide toothed side of the grater & very gently squeeze to remove water. Keep the water aside. It can be used in the recipe later if the ash gourd turns too dry or it can be used in making dal/rasam.
  2. On medium flame, heat 2tbsp ghee in a thick bottomed wok and fry split cashewnuts until they turn golden. Add raisins and quickly saute & remove them using a slotted spoon once they have puffed up (Note: raisins have a lower tolerance to heat & there are chances of scalding).
  3. Lower the heat & to the remaining ghee, add the grated ash gourd, cook covered with ocassional stirring until it turns translucent. Add the ash gourd juice that was kept aside/water in case ash gourd starts sticking to the bottom of the wok. This process to roughly 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add sugar and mix well. I used organic sugar and it helped with giving a richer colour to the halwa.
  5. Add saffron soaked in warm milk. It imparts a nice aroma & yellow-orange colour to the halwa. In case you do not have saffron handy; it can be substituted with natural colouring agent which is totally optional.
  6. Keep stirring occasionally on low flame until it thickens and starts to leave sides of the wok.
  7. Add 1tbsp ghee and mix well for 2-3 minutes until it starts separating from the sides of the wok. Turn off heat.
  8. Add cardamom powder & dry fruits and mix well. Kashi halwa is ready to be served.

If you happen to try this recipe, leave a comment and let me know how it turned out.



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