Festival Recipes, Party ideas

Damrot | How to make Kashi Halwa | Gluten Free Indian Desserts

After last week’s fried delights featured in the currently ongoing September’s Mega BM – Cooking Carnival – hereby abbr. as CC, I start with Indian Sweets / Mithai for this week. It’s surely the festive season  – Ganpati / Ganesh festival starts today, to be followed by Navratri and Diwali shortly, so these are a few of the Mithais we make at home.

Wishing one and all a very Happy Ganesh Chaturthi and a prosperous year ahead..

Ladoo or Barfi (Fudge) are the first two preferences with the sweet loving folks at home, with Payasam / Kheer a distant third. But the elder kid likes Moong dal Halwa / Carrot Halwa when made in season.

Me and the husband exchanged wedding wows today, what seems many years ago 😀 ; so it seemed like a great reason to celebrate our anniversary with this sweet :)) 

Today I present a low fat version of Damrot a.k.a Kashi Halwa made in most Kannada (or South Karnataka) weddings usually on the previous evening of the main wedding (the previous evening is called Januvaasam in Kannada or Varapooje in Kannada). 

Jaanuvasam is like a welcome party for the bridegroom’s family, and the engagement is fortified further through vedic hymns in front of close relatives of the bride’s and groom’s families. Although the weddings of late are crunched due to time constraints or due to inter caste marriages, most traditional families still follow the tradition.

I have seen this being served for breakfast along with Idli , Vada on the main day of Kannada weddings too.


This dish Damrot is made with ash gourd aka Winter melon as a star ingredient (Vella pusanikai in Tamil / Boodhu KumbaLakaayi in Kannada, Safed Bhopla in Hindi or राख भोपळा in Marathi).

The original version of this dish has ghee oozing from its sides, and is literally a melt-in-the mouth experience, I have toned down both the sugar and the ghee in this version to my family’s liking. 

Without much prep time, it can be prepared in under 30 mins (that time changes with the quantity prepared). Damrot is usually served along Idli / Vada as a breakfast or as a evening snack along with Potato Bondas (gram flour and potato deep fried snack), Coconut chutney and piping hot filter coffee !!  Ah.. bliss :))) 

As I write this post, it surely takes me to those lovely weddings in Bangalore during my childhood where we eagerly awaited a delicious spread, fun and frolic and most importantly bunking school and enjoying the day with cousins / friends 🙂

Lets see how to make this low fat version. See notes at the end of this post for more details…  

Low Fat  Damrot / Kashi Halwa- an Indian sweet /mithai 

Gluten Free Semi solid Pudding made with Wintermelon / White Pumpkin.  

Prep time : 15 mins ; Cook time : 15-20 mins ; Serves : 4-6


  • Winter melon / Pusanikai / Boodhu KumbaLakaayi  – about 500 gms (grated 3 cups)
  • Full Cream Milk – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 240 gms
  • Ghee – 6 TBSP
  • Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Nuts (raisin / cashwe) if using  – 1 tsp
  • Saffron – a few strands


  1. Peel the winter melon and grate into 3 cups (without squeezing the water). 
  2. In a pan, heat 1 tsp of ghee and fry any nuts if using.
  3. In the same pan, add the grated melon and saute for 5-8 mins on a medium flame till the water evaporates and the melon is half cooked, do not add any additional water.
  4. Now add the milk and half of the ghee and let the grated melon cook fully in the milk. Keep the flame on low-medium continuosuly watching it, lest it burns.
  5. When the ghee begins and leave the sides, add powdered sugar , saffron if using and the rest of the ghee.
  6. On a very low flame, keep stirring it till comes to a lumpy mass and ghee starts leaving the sides.
  7. Switch off, add the cardamom powder and mix well. Add in the fried nuts.
  8. Serve hot or warm. 


  • Use the grated melon along with the water – do not squeeze it
  • Dont leave the pan unattended – it will scorch quite quickly
  • As this veggie is bland, a little more sugar is required than Gajar Halwa or Doodhi Halwa to make it tasty.
  • you can replace half the quantity of ghee with unsweetened Mawa or Khoya (dried milk solid)



Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68


   An InLinkz Link-up




  1. Suma Gandlur

    First of all, belated anniversary wishes to you guys.
    I love kashi halwa and associate it with celebrations for the obvious reason. Your halwa looks delicious.

  2. MySpicyKitchen

    Happy anniversary!! Kashi halwa looks very nice.

  3. Sandhya Ramakrishnan

    Happy anniversary! This is my husband's very favorite sweet and he always begs me to make some.

  4. cookingwithsapana

    Kashi halwa looks delicious and is perfect to celebrate any ocassion. Belated Anniversary wishes.

  5. Happy anniversary Kal. Please convey our wishes to your hubby too. Halwa looks yum.beautiful.

  6. Nalini's Kitchen

    Happy anniversary wishes Kalyani.Kasi Halwa looks so tempting,nice sweet for any occasion.

  7. Nalini's Kitchen

    Happy anniversary wishes Kalyani.Kasi Halwa looks so tempting,nice sweet for any occasion.

  8. Priya Suresh

    Happy anniversary wishes Kalyani, Damrot halwa looks simply irresistible, prefect sweet for any celebration.

  9. vaishali sabnani

    Happy Anniversary dear .
    Now what is winter melon ? Never heard of it , i will have to come to your place to enjoy this , the halwa sounds great .

  10. Gayathri Kumar

    Happy anniversary Kalyani. This halwa sounds so delicious but I haven't tried it. Bookmarked to try later..

  11. That's one of my favorite halwas and I went all the way with the ghee..heheh..belated anniversary wishes!

  12. Happy Anniversary Kalyani. And this low-fat Kashi Halwa is surely a treat. Looking forward to your other dishes for this week's theme.

  13. listening to the word jaanuvaasam after a long time.. happy anniversary kalyani. amazing share.

  14. Belated anniversary wishes. Love the halwa.

  15. Belated Anniversary wishes Kalyani. That Kashi halwa looks amazing.

  16. Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen

    Looks yum Kalyani, Kasi halwa we had this in my son's poonal menu too. Though we couldn't taste it as we had to fast till the end,but heard from relatives it was Yummmm!! I feel like tasting some now!!

  17. Belated Happy Anniversary! And this halwa looks so pretty. I loved the recipe.

  18. www.annapurnaz.in

    I make it without milk..will try to see how it tastes with milk. We generally make it during navratras and I'm the one who finishes all 🙂

  19. Belated anniversary wishes to both of you! And a perfect halwa for the lovely day! Looks delightful

  20. The Pumpkin Farm

    my dad will love this..he is a big fan of petha and always thought the wintermelon is an under used veggie….will try this next month when the batches of melons arrive

Thanks so much for dropping by.
We would love to hear how you liked this recipe.
Do take a moment to rate this recipe and leave a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *