There are several variations to this classic winter dessert. Some use milk others don't, Some boil and pulverize the lentils others don't. While this dish is easy to make it requires time and patience.

1 cup moong dal washed and soaked in excess water over night

10 tbsp ghee

4 green cardamom pods, lightly smashed

8-10 shelled, roasted unsalted pistachios

1 tbsp golden raisins, pips and stalks removed

1 cup whole milk plain

2 cups water

1 cup sugar


Drain the lentils completely. Pat dry with a clean cloth. Blitz until you have a clumpy but fine powder. Do not add water. This will required repeated grinding in a mixer grinder or food processor.

Heat the ghee on medium flame in a large non stick sauce pan. Add the lentils, a pinch of salt and stir well. Cook 10-12 minutes stirring constantly until oil separates from the paste.

Heat the smashed cardamoms, milk water and sugar in a pan until it reaches a boil. Strain over the moong halwa using a sieve. Discard cardamom pods and seeds.

When the moong halwa cooks to a sandy consistency- which means most of the water has evaporated it is ready for the milk.

Stir the halwa paste into the milk and keep cooking and stirring to prevent burning. The lentils will absorb the milk rapidly if they have been cooked to the right consistency.

Continue to stir until the ghee separates from the halwa and the halwa has a soft dough like consistency.

Garnish with nuts and serve warm.





This is a hearty dish ideal for hungry families and large groups. Add diced bacon or pancetta to the onions if you are not vegetarian. You can use other pasta shapes too like fusilli, penne, fettuccine for this dish.

Serves 4

1 kg pumpkin or lal kadoo peeled and cut into inch size pieces

1 cup finely sliced onions

1/4 cup minced garlic

12 6-7 inch chives finely chopped (use sage or parsley if you prefer)

1 cup light cream

1/2 cup Parmesan grated

1/2 cup Gruyere or Emmenthaler shredded or grated

1 teaspoon red chilli flakes or to taste

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbspns butter unsalted

salt to taste

Aprox 400-500 grams spaghetti


Set water with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt to boil for the pasta.

Heat butter and oil in an over sized saucepan on medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft and just beginning to caramelize. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add red chilli flakes and stir well. Add pumpkin and toss well to coat. Cook 4-5 minutes and stir from time to time to prevent burning.

Lower flame and add cream. Toss well.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook al dente or follow package instructions.

Add one cup of the boiling pasta water to the pumpkin sauce. Stir. Cook until pumpkin is tender but holds its shape. Add cracked black pepper and toss.

Drain pasta. Add to the pumpkin and toss to coat. Add more pasta water if required to create the consistency you like.

Ladle into a serving bowl. Add the two cheese and toss again. Taste and adjust for salt. Garnish with chopped chives. Serve immediately.