Dumroot Halwa is Karnataka’s version of Lauki/ Doodhi/ Sorakaaya made out of Pooshnikkai (in Tamil) or Ash Gourd. This is the microwave version of Dumroot Halwa. A couple of random tidbits:
1. I followed my Appa’s recipe. My Dad’s fetish for experimentation in the kitchen is rather entertaining, though it means a lot more work for my Amma. His culinary adventures as a norm follow unconventional methods, but thankfully there are times when these do lead to yummy dishes. This is one of those recipes, he discovered over a decade ago while playing with his “newest found kitchen toy” – the microwave.
2. I made a sweet for the first time in over a year and half of cooking. With my Paatti and Amma around I never ever thought I’d cook sweets for myself!!! I am a spoilt granddaughter – any sweet or karam that I named was prepared at any time I wanted by my Paatti. My Paatti is a typical Iyengar Mami with ivory skin, big red pottu and shiny Madasaru (a style of wearing the nine yard saree). She is without doubt an exceptional cook – but what makes her even more exceptional is her ability to gauge “what stage a sweet is at” with just her sense of smell. My Paatti has never had good eyesight – she’s blind in one, and the other has a power so high that she sees nothing beyond dark shadows. Yet as though by magic she weaves her culinary skills to produce the best tasting food I have ever had. She somehow just knows when the sugar syrup is just right for putting in flour, or when the Mysoor Pak is just done enough to transfer to a plate. It took my mom quite a bit to match her. Of course I have to concede that Amma has inherited her cooking genius.
Here’s the recipe:
Cooking time: 15 minutes, Preparation: 5 minutes, Serves: 3 (as a dish on the side)
2 cup Pooshanikkai (Ash Gourd or White Pumpkin – grated and packed)
3/4 Sugar *
3/4 cup Fresh Cream
3 tbsp Broken Cashewnuts
Step 1. Build Muscles
Grate the White Pumpkin. Transfer to a Microwave Safe Glass Bowl along with the water content. Note: Do not drain water from the grated Pumpkin.
At the end of this step, you’ll be left with an aching hand and hopefully with some arm fat converted to muscles.
Step 2. Cook Grated Pumpkin and Get Rid of all the Water.
**Microwave on high for 8 minutes. Stir after the 5th minute to check water content. After the 7th minute stir again and check the water content. After the beep at the 8th minute, check the water content again and keep for an additional minute or so if required.
At the end of this step, you’ll be left with grated pumpkin that is cooked, reduced in quantity and has no water other than the wetness in it.
Step 3: Cook with Sugar
Stir the cooked Pumpkin well and add 3/4 of a cup of sugar. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Stir after the 2nd minute and check for consistency, remove from microwave if it is fairly thick. Note: About 50% of the cooked pumpkin quantity is a good measure of how much sugar is needed.
At the end of this step, you will be left with grated pumpkin in a thick sugar syrup.
Step 4: Make the Halwa Fattening.
Add 3/4 cup of cream and stir well. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir well after the beep and check for consitency. Keep for an additional minute or so if the halwa is not thick enough.
At the end of this step, you will have halwa that is ready to eat but just needs some toasted nuts.
Step 5: Make the Halwa Nutty
In a Microwave Safe Bowl or Plate, toast the cashewnuts on high for about 30 seconds. Keep for an additional 5 to 10 seconds if the cashewnuts are not golden. Add this to the Halwa.
Step 6: Eat and Enjoy.
Note: If you are food blogger, you might need to substitute this with the “photo session” aka “snap taking ceremony”. But if you are a lazy food blogger like me, you’ll just take a few with your mobile in not more than 30 seconds.
*Alter to taste. About 50% of the cooked pumpkin quantity is a good measure of how much sugar is needed. I used a little over 1/2 a cup for 2 cups of grated Pumpkin.
**Timings may need adjustment depending on the water content of the Pumpkin. Since this varies, do use your discretion while cooking.
This is my entry for Srivalli’s Microwave Easy Cooking Series