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 gajar or carrot halwa, which I’ve blogged about earlier. 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.