Indian Red Pumpkin Dessert (Kaddu Ka Halwa)

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4.88 out of 5 Stars by 8 readers!

Kaddu ha halwa is an Indian pumpkin dessert that is quick and easy to make. A seasonal dish that is widely made by North Indians during festivals, this yummy sweet dish can be served cold, hot or at room temperature.

Pumpkin Halwa is a speciality from North India that is now popular all over the country. It is made from the pumpkin known as Kaddu or Lal Bhopla in India, which is a type of winter squash. Did you know pumpkins and gourds belong to the same family as squashes and melons, called the Cucurbitaceae family, in fact, there are about 975 species? Pumpkin is often prepared for food as a vegetable, though it is actually a fruit.

We’ve often made dudhi ka halwa at home, but this red pumpkin dessert is only made once in a blue moon. It’s a bit too earthy for me, but a lot of people like it; so let’s find out how it’s made. There are many different versions out there, but this is ours; real quick and easy.

What Ingredients do you need to make Pumpkin Halwa?

All you need to make this tasty pumpkin dessert is a winter squash (kaddu or bhopla), sugar, cardamom, and almonds. Milk powder or cream is optional.

How to Make Kaddu ka Halwa With Milk powder or Without it?

Peel the skin of the pumpkin pieces and remove the seeds and the pulpy bits from the centre. Then, grate the pumpkin and set aside.

Red pumpkin pieces on a black platform.
Red Pumpkin
Grated red pumpkin on a white plate and a steel grater.
Grated pumpkin

Add sugar and cardamom pods in a vessel, place on the stove and make a mel(syrup) on a low flame. Do not add water, just allow the sugar to melt on its own.

Sugar and cardamom pods in a steel vessel.
Sugar and cardamom pods

In a similar dish, add some ghee and the grated pumpkin and allow the pumpkin to cook while stirring it every few minutes until it softens. You will notice that the pumpkin has reduced in quantity and its texture has changed. You can then add the sugar mel and cardamoms to this mixture and continue to cook for a few more minutes till it thickens.

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And the pumpkin halwa is done and ready to be served!

Grated pumpkin cooking in a steel vessel.
Pumpkin cooking
Kaddu ka halwa in a blue bowl on a cream surface.
Kaddu ka Halwa

If you want a richer texture, you can add in a bit of milk powder, condensed milk, or evaporated milk (optional) after you take the vessel off the stove and allow it cool. Alternatively, add a bit of mawa (Indian dried sweet milk solids) five minutes before turning the stove off.

Garnish with flaky almonds or roasted broken cashews.

Red pumpkin dessert served in a blue bowl with sliced almonds
Lal Bhopla Halwa
Red pumpkin dessert served in a blue bowl with sliced almonds.

Pumpkin Halwa (Kaddu ka Halwa)

Sarah
Kaddu ha halwa is a delicious pumpkin Indian dessert that is quick and easy to make. The perfect heartwarming use of a winter sqaush.
4.88 out of 5 Stars by 8 readers!

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 220 kcal
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Ingredients
  

  • 500 g Red Pumpkin (Kaddu)
  • 200 g Sugar
  • 3 Green Cardamon Pods (Choti Elaichi)
  • 2 Tablespoon Ghee (Indian clarified butter)

Optional

  • 2 Tablespoon Milk Powder
  • 3 Almonds Sliced for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Remove the skin and seeds, then grate the pumpkin pieces and keep aside.
    Grated red pumpkin on a white plate and a steel grater.
  • Add sugar and crushed cardamom pods in a pot to make a syrup.
  • In another pot, add ghee and the grated pumpkin and cook till the pumpkin reduces.
    Grated pumpkin cooking in a steel vessel.
  • Then add the sugar mel aka syrup and cardamoms and cook till it gets thick.
  • Mix milk powder into the halwa when it cools for a richer taste.
  • Sprinkle with sliced almonds and serve.

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Notes

  • Remove the skin and grate the pumpkin before you start cooking.
  • Do not use water to cook the pumpkin, it won’t taste as good.
  • You can use roasted broken Cashew nuts instead of sliced Almonds. Or if you have an allergy, you can skip the nuts altogether.
  • Milk powder adds to the richness of pumpkin halwa, but is not a necessary ingredient.
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Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 340mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 1163IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.

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What’s Perfect about this Pumpkin Dessert Recipe?

  • This red bhopla halwa is quick and easy to make.
  • This dessert requires just a few ingredients and is vegetarian.
  • If you do not add the milk powder, it is vegan.
  • Pumpkin has many nutritional benefits.

Cooking Tips Or Tricks

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Questions About the dessert called Pumpkin Halwa

Can I Use Milk To Cook This Dessert?

Yes, if you wish, you can add some milk when you mix in the sugar and cardamom. You would need to allow it to simmer a little longer for the mixture to get dry.

Is Pumpkin A Vegetable Or A Fruit?

Although pumpkin is widely prepared and used as a vegetable, it is a fruit.

Are Pumpkin Seeds Edible?

Yes, certain kinds of pumpkin seeds are edible. However, for this recipe, it is better not to use the seeds. Instead, you can sundry the seeds or dry them in an oven to snack on them.

When Is Red Pumpkin In Season?

Here in India, Red Pumpkin or Kaddu is harvested in the Summer(monsoon) and Winter seasons; generally June, July and December, January.

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Pinterest Image of Pumpkin Halwa in a blue bowl with sliced almonds.
Pinterest Image of Pumpkin Halwa in a blue bowl with sliced almonds.
Pinterest Image of Pumpkin pieces and Halwa in a blue bowl with sliced almonds.

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