Happy Independence Day and a sweet treat from India – Pumpkin Halwa

Pumpkin halwa

This is to thank each one of YOU reading this, for your interest, appreciation, support and encouragement for my work here. It’s been a great journey blogging, meeting and connecting with new people and I’d like to thank you all for being a part of it. A little treat for you – recipe of Pumpkin halwa I learnt from Ma. 🙂

Pumpkin halwa

I remember celebrating Independence Day in India as a kid. August 15th is a National holiday in India, so the celebrations were held a day before in school, full with all sorts of festivities, games, entertainment, sweets and the tri-colors of our National flag floating everywhere. But the memories I have of Independence Day other than the colors and celebrations, is the flavour and sweet aroma of yellow pumpkin cooking in ghee and milk, of Kadoo Halwa, that Ma cooked on such holidays.

Pumpkin halwa

Pumpkin is also called Kadoo in Hindi. I don’t particularly love the taste of pumpkins and it’s never been a favorite vegetable, but this pumpkin dessert is unbelievable! Ma would make this sweet and the house filled up with the distinct fragrance of the halwa. I would finish bowls of this sweet gooey dessert and get ready for some more! I guess Ma had found a way of feeding me pumpkins! 😉

Pumpkin halwa

Pumpkin halwa

I like to cook and luckily I am good with flavors, but more than cooking I like tasting various kinds of food and taking pictures of it. I’ve been reading some food blogs and trying out some food photography recently, and I must say it’s a lot of fun in the kitchen! With all the colors of food, the textures and aroma, it’s like painting with spices & food ingredients! I tried to create a festive Indian mood in the pictures by styling the frame with the colors of our national flag and the soft yellow light from the lamp. All pictures are shot in natural light with a Nikon D80 and a 35mm F2 lens. I found Neel’s website Learn Food Photography very helpful and inspiring. There are so many inspiring food blogs with breath-taking pictures. A few of my favourites – Anshu Si, Soma Rathore, Kulsum Kunwa, Prerna – thanks for sharing such amazing recipes and stunning pictures!

Pumpkin halwa

Pumpkin halwa is my favorite among all the other halwas and I have mastered making it now. 🙂 It’s one of the lighter Indian sweets and I am sure anyone who dislikes pumpkin will change their opinion after tasting this yummy halwa. I am not a food blogger and have never written a recipe before, but I’ll try and pen down how I made it.

Pumpkin halwa


Yellow pumpkin 
Ghee or clarified butter
Nuts and raisins for garnish

It’s similar in preparation to ‘Gajar halwa’ or carrot halwa but takes much lesser time as the pumpkin softens quicker than carrots. Grate the pumpkin and cook in ghee till it softens. Add milk and all other ingredients except the garnish and cook till it becomes a pulp. Stir the halwa till it is fully cooked and doesn’t stick to the pan anymore. Garnish with nuts and raisins.

Here’s the recipe by another professional food blogger I follow – Sala of Veggie Belly. It has some gorgeous pictures too!

P.S. This is a special post and you won’t find any recipes of the yummy food pictures I take, on this blog. This one is special – it’s for YOU! 🙂 Enjoy!

Pumpkin halwa Pumpkin halwaPumpkin Halwa

Happy Independence day India! And Thank you all! 🙂


28 Comments Add yours

  1. Lovely pics. Happy Independence Day to you too!
    My mom makes a yummy beetroot halva, beets being a vegetable I usually don’t like. Moms have their methods, I guess!

    1. Thanks Anjana 🙂 Yeah! Just got to know to know about beetroot halwa! 🙂

  2. Vishakha says:

    This pumpkin halwa has a fan club, including me. Yum! 🙂

    1. Ha ha! Ya my first recipe! 🙂
      Kudos to you guys who take such beautiful pictures AND cook such amazing food! Realised how much hard work it is to do it all! I didn’t have any fancy looking dishes to present the halwa though. And that there aren’t many Orange flowers in the market! :p But I think I’ve done a decent job for a first-time food styling. It was fun! 😉

  3. i*Kan says:

    Looks delish… Thaks for sharing! And happy Independence Day!

  4. This is a great way to use up pumpkin, in a slightly less conventional way – and we’re still digging Indian sweets post-journey. Indulgent, sweet and delicious!!!

    1. Yeah! And it’s not as rich in sugar and fat as other Indian sweets 🙂

  5. travtrails says:

    reminds me of childhood treats

  6. thirdeyemom says:

    Mmmmmmm looks so good!

    1. Thanks Nicole 🙂 My first home-made food, styling and photography! It was quite an experience. Probably the only dish I can make in any quantity now 😉

  7. Kaval says:

    totally mouth watering and delicious! 🙂

  8. Tadka Pasta says:

    That is a great post, take a bow, Ritu!

  9. Beautiful photographs, I am glad I found your blog!

    1. Thanks a lot Nik! 🙂 Same here!

  10. Dina says:

    Happy Independence Day! What a gorgeous blog. I’m glad Liz reblogged you and brought me here! 🙂
    Best regards

    1. Thanks a lot Dina, nice to meet you here 🙂 Glad you liked my work!

  11. Vaughan says:

    Rita, I made gajar halwa last week and loved it. I have a spare pumpkin after my children’s Halloween fun here in London, so I thought I would do something similar. Your recipe and the accompanying pictures look fantastic. I must try it. Many thanks. Vaughan

  12. rutavi Mehta says:

    Loves the way colors came on my screen. 🙂 wanted to know which camera and lens you used along with the setting 🙂 would love to learn from you 🙂 . DO you mind emailing them on rutavi (at) photokatha (dot) in.


  13. Wow sounds interesting, i never thought of making halwa of pumpkin. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  14. Colourful Halwa. But you should taste the Tirunelveli Halwa over here http://www.sweetkhana.com

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