A beautiful, pale green doodhi halwa made with bottle gourd and no milk or dairy products.
Doodhi Halwa is a delicious Indian sweet that is not at all difficult to veganize and which, in its animal-free avatar, ends up being both healthier and more delicious.
A doodhi or lauki or bottle gourd is a pretty, pale-green squash that is a known cholesterol fighter and makes delicious subzis. Because the doodhi is very neutral-tasting it lends itself beautifully to a halwa.
The process of making a doodhi halwa is very similar to that for making a vegan carrot halwa. You grate the veggie, you reduce the milk, you add the sugar, and you have an incredibly fabulous sweet made of something that's actually good for you.
Besides, there really is no way to mess this one up. All it takes is a bit of patience.
I use almond milk instead of regular milk in my doodhi halwa. Cup for cup, almond milk contains about ⅓rd the calories in a cup of regular milk. Also, I like substituting nut milks rather than soy milk in Indian sweets because I find they add tons of flavor and no aftertaste, which can ruin a sweet. And because most Indian sweets including this one usually incorporate nuts, the flavor of almond milk lends itself naturally to these dishes.
That said, if you can't find almond milk or refuse to make your own (yes, you're allowed to be a rebel), you can go with vanilla soymilk. The halwa would still be delicious.
It's time for me to fly. Enjoy your weekend, all!
More vegan Indian sweets
Vegan Doodhi Halwa
- 1 medium bottle gourd , peeled (the thin skin peels easily with a regular vegetable peeler), seeded, and then finely grated. It should yield around 4-5 cups.
- ⅓- ½ cup sugar
- 3 cups almond milk
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 2 tablespoon raw cashews , chopped
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil + 1 tsp
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wide-mouthed skillet.
- Add the bottle gourd and stir-fry for about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the almond milk, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the mixture simmers and allow the halwa to reduce until all the liquid has evaporated, which may take about 60-90 minutes. Stir frequently while the mixture is reducing.
- Add the sugar and stir well.
- In a small saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon of oil and add the cashewnuts to it along with the cardamom powder. Turn off the heat as the cashews turn lightly golden-brown and pour everything into the halwa.
- Mix well and turn off the heat before the halwa gets too dry. You can also add some raisins along with the cashews and let them plump in the oil before adding to the halwa. .
- I think the halwa tastes best slightly chilled, but if you can't wait, dig in
More Indian vegan sweets.
can we substitute it with Coconut milk ? dont have almond or soy milk handy and im craving for doodhi ka halwa!!!
Yes, the coconut flavor works with Indian sweets!
Hi Vaishali , this is a great recipe. From my experience with almond milk ( home made) , it does not seem to like heat as much. When I put boiling tea water in almond milk, it looks like separating oil from with in. Does heating up almond milk in halwa produce similar visual effect? I have been looking for a recipe for vegan dudhi halwa and will try this one soon. Thanks so much!!
Thanks for this awesome recipe. I'm on a mono diet of mostly green foods and I adapted this recipe for my green food needs 🙂
I used zucchini instead of Doodi because I couldn't access it easily where I live, I also used homemade Pistachio milk instead of almond, coconut sugar and finally I omitted the almond extract. Mmm mmm mmm #omyum so delicious!
Hi Raana, so glad you tried it with zucchini. I actually have two huge zucchini right now that I had no idea what to do with, and you've just inspired me to try some Zucchini Halwa. Thanks! 🙂
Thanks glad to hear I inspired you.
I made it for a potluck for like-minded folks who have been doing the green cleanse and it won 1st prize! It definitely makes you go mmm mmm. Here is the recipe I used:
Vegan and Green Zucchini Halwa
Adapted By Raana Brezenoff for the 40 day Green cleanse
Original recipe by Vaishali at Holy Cow Vegan food blog:
Homemade organic Pistachio Nut milk recipe by Food Babe:
4-5 medium zucchini, peeled and fine grated. squeeze out excess water. Should yield around 4-5 cups.
3/4 cup Coconut sugar
3 cups homemade Pistachio milk (See Food Babes’ recipe, please use 1/2 pod vanilla bean instead of extract if available and omit Almond extract)
2 tsp cardamom powder
A handful of pistachios, crushed
A handful of golden or sultana raisins
1 tbsp coconut oil
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wide-mouthed skillet.
Add the zucchini and stir-fry for about 7-9 minutes or until it’s all soft but don’t let it stick to the pan
Add the pistachio milk, cardamom and sugar, stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the mixture simmers and allow the halwa to reduce until all the liquid has evaporated which may take 60-90 minutes. Stir frequently while the mixture is reducing. Add the raisins in the halwa in the last 5 min of cooking
Turn off the heat before the halwa gets too dry. Garnish with generous handful of crushed pistachios and mint leaves in a pretty design.
Thanks! I will try it will zucchini... my kids and husband have very limited diets, but I think we could tweak this just a bit (honey for sugar) so that they could eat it. Can't wait to try it... thanks!
I make "pudding" out of butternut squash often and it's delicious. I have some zuchhini in the fridge just waiting!
Rebecca please don't heat honey it is not good as per Ayurveda
I am not particularly fond of dudhi halwa but I generally use cashew-almond mixed milk in most substitutions. I was just going through all your posts and found some of them so good. Cannot comment in each one but love your blog as always! I really enjoy the thoughtfulness that accompanies each post.
One of hard part will be milk for me! I cannot even imagine a sweet, so waiting the good news with Vegan pedas 🙂
Almond milk sounds an excellent subst!
nithya at hungrydesi
never thought to make halwa with doodhi! looks great...and can't believe it's good for you too.
Hey Vaishali! Will definitely try your recipe out sometime. I'm vegan too! BTW just blogrolled you. I lurk here quite often 🙂
You know what else you can use this summer to make halwa, zucchini. The moment I saw this post, I was thinking of making zucchini halwa. I need to try that.
To answer your question,
Bread machine kneads the dough so well that the gluten gets formed very well and that yields better loaves. Also, it avoids adding too much of flour to make it handle and that gives more moist loaves. I have seen your avocado brioche and that looks awesome too. I don't think I'll be able to juggle work, two kids and make fresh bread couple of times every week if not for the bread machine. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone if they like having homemade fresh bread.
RedChillies, Nupur, Tiffany, Anonymous, Chitchat, Parita, Madhavi: Thanks!
Rebeca, You might want to try this with zucchini which is also a bland squash, although I wonder if the water content in zucchini could be a bit too high, which would mean it'd take much longer. Could be worth a try, especially now that we're heading into the warm season 🙂
Deepa, Kumudha, SS, Trupti: Thanks!
doodhi halwa looks delicious Vaishali
Hey Vaishali.. your doodhi halwa looks really yummy! Your point about the difficulty in vegan-izing pedha is so true! I had never thought about it before. Look forward to when you successfully accomplish that! Best wishes!
Doodhi halwa looks delicious!
Thanks for the wonderful recipes.
Deepa G Joshi
hey doodhi halwa looks so rich and yummy..love the mouth watering clicks..
Mmmm, this looks so yummy! Could you recommend any substitute for bottle gourd? I think I've seen it in the Asian market here, but wonder if I could use a different kind of squash? Thanks!
Almond milk hummmm wow, very nice recipe!!
My mom makes this all the times, especially during the fastings. Using almond milk is a great idea, thanks!
Have seen the Doodhi halwa only in Mittai shops, never attempted to make at home. Finding it similar to gajjar halwa, will surely make some soon. Thanks for sharing. Clicks are superb!!!!!
This looks like something my mom and sister would totally love; they're obsessed with cashews and also have no problem with sweets.
I also prefer almond milk over soy milk in general, for the neutral taste and lower caloric content.
Vaishali, I love love love your vegan versions of Indian sweets. In a couple of days, I'm trying your vegan gajar halwa.
Hats off to you for trying veganising so many hither to thought impossible Indain sweets. I would have never imagined using Almond milk. Will definitely give this a try sometime.
Halwa looks delicious and reminds me of My mom's doodhi halwa. Would definitely try this cruelty free version 🙂
Will be waiting for Pedha recipe 🙂
Gita, Supriya, Skay, Sharmila, Thanks!
Rajendra, I believe in moderation--and I usually use turbinado sugar which is unrefined, and that helps too in making the halwa healthier than it would be with regular suger. I've not used sucralose as a sweetener before, but you could certainly try it. Your halwa may be a little drier, and you might want to add a tiny bit of almond milk at the end to get it back to a creamy consistency. Hope that helps 🙂
Latha, Simplyfood: Thanks!
Doodhi halwa looks so delicious and beautiful click.
I usually make it with white pumpkin. This one looks tempting.
Am sure almond milk will give a wonderful and different flavour too! I can use it too the next time I make this halwa. Good one Vaishali. 🙂
i love doodhi halwa! and using almond milk sounds better, much better! gotta try it.
Luv the Dudhi Halva here...very healthy...and like the click as well.
Almond milk instead of regular milk sounds very healthy...halwa looks very delicious 🙂
So much sugar cannot really be healthy, is it not? What would you say about using Sucralose to make it healthier? - Rajendra