Doodhi Halwa (Bottle gourd/Opo/Calabash Halwa)


I think doodhi is one of the unsung heroes in vegetable kingdom.  And that is unfortunate. You can actually do lots with this vegetable. Did you know that it’s one of the easiest veggies to grow? It can be grown throughout the year except when there is frost. If it’s well treated with wax or lacquer, it can be turned into a variety of containers and musical instruments. In some places it is used as an antidote for poison. It can be used to make varieties of dishes like roti, curry, daal, sambar, raita, and even dessert! So next time you meet doodhi would you please pay it due respect and not just a casual, irreverant glance? Thank you.

Over the last two years, I have been using doodhi in my cooking quite a bit especially to make Doodhi halwa, one of my favorite desserts. It’s light, refreshing and never cloying. Even if you don’t like doodhi in any other form, you have to agree with me that its halwa tastes very good. If you have never had it, you should try it. The restaurant-style halwa uses khoya but I make it with low-fat milk, condensed milk and ghee. This gives it a better taste and feel especially when it is eaten warm.

To take it up a notch, you can serve it warm with some Vanilla or Pistachio ice cream.


2 cups shredded doodhi (wash, peel and then grate it)
1 cup low-fat milk (either 1% or 2%)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup small pieces of cashews
Approx. 1/2 cup condensed milk
1/2 tea spoon cardamom powder
2 table spoon ghee

1. In a broad non-stick pan about 8-10 inches wide, add shredded doodhi, cashews and milk. Cover the pan and cook on medium-low heat for approx.
10 minutes. By this time most of the milk should have evaporated. If not, cook further
until almost all the milk has evaporated.
2. Add condensed milk, cream, and sugar. Mix well.
3. Cover the pan and cook for 10 more minutes on low heat. Stir a few times
in between.
4. Uncover the pan. Add ghee and cook for 7-8 minutes.
5. Add cardamom powder and remove from stove.

1. You can use a carrot grater or food processor to shred the dudhi.
2. Same recipe goes for carrot halwa.
3. This recipe is for 4 medium size servings.

Dudhi in other languages:
Gujarati – Dudhi (દૂધી)
English – Opo, Bottle gourd, Calabash
Hindi – Lauki (लौकी)
Kannada – Sorekayi (ಸೋರೇಕಾಯಿ)
Telugu – Sorakaya
Tamil – Suraikkaai