Monday, December 09, 2013

Dumrote/Dumroot Halwa

The name 'Dumrote' sounds a bit strange when one reads it for the first time but let me assure you, this sweet dish is addictive and may become a permanent entry into your recipe book! I first tasted this at Udupi Krishna Bhavan(UKB) in Balepet Bangalore in 1980. I thought they mixed in left over Jehangir, a Muslim sweet resembling Jalebis in Kesari Bhaat to make this. At least the consistency looked like that and the dish had the strong aroma of camphor. According to my colleague in Bangalore Nagabhushana Hande who hailed from Kundapur, they made this with semolina and ash gourd with a dash of edible camphor. I was immediately addicted to it and every afternoon, I skipped lunch and had Dumrote, Idli sambar and Khaara Bhaat at UKB for almost 4 years!
I guess this dish originated from Karachi now in Pakistan. Karachi is famous for halwa and bakes. They make what is called 'Dum Ka Rote', a baked semolina cake without ash gourd. Muslims in Andhra and Tamilnadu also make Dum Ka Rote. Bangaloreans have distorted the name and some call this 'Dumroot'. They say Kashi Halwa and this are the same. Some make it with pumpkin and some with ash gourd. However, I didn't find anyone making it with added semolina.  Venkateshwara Sweet Meat Stall in Balepet sells Golden Yellow Dumrote that smells and tastes different. UKB still makes dumrote that is slightly browned like cake but tastes heavenly even today!
This is my second attempt to make it at home in the last 25 years and both the attempts are successful. I made my own formula and last time I added saffron. This time made it almost like UKB Balepet Bangalore, adding camphor. We had 2 fresh home grown ash gourds, each weighing over 4 Kilos and thought of making good use of them. Today being Shashti, a festival which is traditionally highlighted by preparing any dish with ash gourd, I thought of making this sweet and distribute among the close ones. Here's my recipe for the wonderful dessert called 'Dumrote'. I  added very little Orange Red food colour to the dish to get a feel of the original dumrote that is red in colour, but ours turned out light red.
Ash Gourd(Well grown one) - 2Kg piece
Bombay Rava(Semolina) - 1 1/2 cups
Ghee - 150Ml(More if you like this rich)
Sugar - 2 cups(Reduce or increase according to taste)
Khova - 200Gms(Or Condensed Milk 100Ml)
Water - 4 cups
Cashew bits - 25Gms
Raisins - 25Gms
Green Cardamom - 6-8 pods, peeled and seeds crushed
Edible Camphor(Pachcha Karpooram) crystals - A pinch
Saffron(Use only if you are not using camphor) - A pinch dissolved in little warm milk
Orange Red Food colour(Optional) - A pinch dissolved in little warm water

Wash peel and cut the ash gourd into thick wedges as in the pics.
Grate them and collect the grated ash gourd in a bowl.
Using a juice strainer, squeeze out the juice from the grated ash gourd and collect the juice separately.
You should get 3 cups of the grated ash gourd and little more of the juice.
Heat 3-4 Tbsp of ghee in a nonstick pan.
Fry the grated ash gourd on high flame, mixing continuously, so that it doesn't get burnt.
Keep stirring for 15-20 mins when the mass should get cooked, gets slightly golden in colour and ghee leaves the sides.
Now add the collected ash gourd juice and bring to a boil.
Cover and simmer for 10-15 mins when the mass gets mushy and semi dry.
Boil 4 cups of water in a vessel and simmer.
Dissolve Camphor in little hot water.
Heat remaining ghee in a thick kadai(Wok) and fry the cashew bits till golden.
Remove and keep aside.
To the same ghee, add semolina and roast on medium heat till a nice aroma emanates and semolina starts to turn golden.
Carefully add the boiled water to the roasted semolina and mix well till semolina gets fully soaked but not watery.
Since roasted semolina tends to spurt while adding hot water, you should be really careful about your hands and face.
Now add the cooked ash gourd and mix.
At this stage, semolina expands 3 times in volume.
Mix in sugar and crumbled khova.
Sugar and khova melt and blend well with the mass.
Add food colour, crushed cardamom and camphor dissolved in water.
(Optionally add saffron in milk)
Mix thoroughly to get a homogeneous colour.
Top up with fried cashewnuts and raisins and serve hot.

All measures are in standard cup of volume 200Ml.
If you add condensed milk instead of Khova, reduce the quantity of sugar.

1 comment:

Nargis Aara said...

Hii!! its nice to come across your blog, never knew what dum ka roat halwa is, luckily i got ash gourd today I shall try this!! Thanks for sharing this recipe!! following you now!! also visit my space and follow me back!! stay connected :)


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