Happy New Year!
Ma often tells us how Guruji loved sweets. One of his favorites was doodhi halva, which we are featuring as this month’s recipe. Sweets are also a big part of the celebration of Diwali, the Indian New Year.
This is one of the biggest festivals in India, celebrated for five continuous days. The third day is the ‘Festival of lights’ when a colorful varieties of fireworks are part of this fun festival. On this auspicious day, people light up diyas (clay ghee lamp) and candles all around their homes. They perform Laxmi Puja in the evening and seek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth and Abundance.
Doodhi, or bottle gourd, is a kind of squash available at an Indian grocery store. ‘Halva’ translates simply as ‘sweet’. (You can also substitute carrot for the doodhi and make carrot halva.)
2 cups dhoodhi, grated finely
¼ cup ghee (clarified butter)
2 cups of milk
1 cup of sugar (3/4 cup if less sweet required)
½ cup powdered milk
½ tsp cardamom crushed fine
2 tbsp chopped almonds (optional)
1 Tbsp pistachios, chopped finely (optional)
1 tsp raisins (optional)
Sauté dhoodhi in ghee for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add milk and cook on medium until it becomes a paste.
Add sugar and let boil until much of the excess liquid is cooked off.
Add powdered milk. When it has become one consistency, remove from heat and garnish with cardamom, almonds, pistachios and raisins.