You see here Doodhi Halwa or Bottle gourd pudding with charoli nuts and a tiny piece of preserved pineapple for decoration
Many moons ago in Mumbai landed a Marwadi. Like all Marwadis he too thought it was the ideal place to earn money real quickly. This story is of the times when Doodhi halwa was considered a sweet associated with fairs and one could buy things for 2 paise. The Man saw a fair going on in Bandra during the Mount Mary festival. He thought of selling Doodhi Halwa at the cheapest that any one can buy. Now Doodhi Halwa is not a cheap sweet. It needs Ghee, Khava, Dudhi, fuel and manpower. Nevertheless he put up a huge hoarding announcing Doodhi Halwa @ 2 paise. Most Mumbaikar look for cheap deals and this was not something they were going to miss.
There was a huge que in front of this shop. As you know Mumbaikar love to line up every where be it Siddhi Vinayak for Darshan or Samant's at Dadar to buy Chakka on a Dasara day, so there they were. Many wondered why this shop was unlike the usual mithaiwala's. This one was a tent closed from all sides and ust one person at a time was allowed to enter. Another thing one noted was no one seemed to be coming out from the entrance. People enquired curiously. The Doorkeeper informed that people did not want to let anyone share the wonderful experience so prefered to leave from behind the tent. Some smarty pants went to the exit. They saw all the people coming out laughing. They thought wow one had to have the special Doodhi Halwa.
When each one entered they saw an empty tent with a huge Doodhi (bottle gourd) hung at the center of the tent with a string and a board written in Marathi, Doodhi Halwa for 2 paise. All people had a great laugh, Yes it was Doodhi Halwa @ 2 paise. Oscillate the Bottle gourd of course in Marathi means Doodhi Halwa! The typical Indians that we are we keep quite when we are fooled so they kept mum while the Marwadi collected the money and went home happy. Yet they had a good laugh at themselves for 2 paise.
This has been a favorite joke when we were small and always remembered when we enjoyed Doodhi Halwa.
So if you don't want to be fooled make your own Doodhi Halwa.
2 cup grated bottle gourd
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup khava/ condensed milk solids
2 tablespoons ghee/ unclarified butter
2 teaspoon charoli nuts or any other
I like my halwas rich always. So here is how we do it. Heat ghee and fry the khava till pink. To this add the sugar and stir till molten. Do not let sugar caramelize. At this point take the grated doodhi that would be watery and squeeze out the water as much as you can. Pack it tight in the measuring cup add this grated Doodhi to the khava sugar mix and keep stirring. When the Doodhi Halwa leaves the sides of the vessel and forms a mass in the center its a signal to put off the heat. This might take 20 mins max. Decorate with charoli nuts for the old world charm or any other nut of your choice.
Doodhi halwa can be enjoyed warm with Vanilla icecream or chilled just a bit on its own. My version is quite gooey if you like it that way.
Also try Jugabandi's microwave version and Suma's lighter version.