Creamy pumpkin halwa is made into a low carb and sugar free dessert that can also be enjoyed as a breakfast pudding! The spices and sweetness of this dessert make a great Fall low carb treat.
This fresh pumpkin halwa low carb dessert is quick, easy and delicious. The warm spices of cardamon go very well with the naturally sweet pumpkin.
If you are looking to try pumpkin as a dessert other than traditional pumpkin pie or cheesecake, try this easy and creamy pumpkin halwa recipe.
We were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed this pumpkin dessert and it's taste. It has a creamy texture with the right balance of sweet and creamy, enhanced by the cardamon spice.
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IS PUMPKIN LOW CARB?
Pumpkin is a great low carb squash with just 6.5 net carbohydrates per 100g serving and packed with nutrients. Pumpkin is just as comparable with broccoli with net carbs and can be enjoyed in both sweet and savory recipes.
WHAT IS HALWA?
Halwa comes from the Arabic word "Hulw" meaning sweet and originally was made from a paste of dates and milk. The dessert arrived in India via Persia and there are many variations made with semolina, almonds and milk. Sugar features in all recipes, making them unsuitable for a low carb diet.
During our time in the Middle East, we had often come across carrot halwa during the holidays, but never pumpkin. Carrot may be sweet and colourful but has too many carbs for a low carb diet but this healthier pumpkin version of the dessert hits the spot!
Halwa is also known as Kaddu ka Halwa and is often served as a dessert for Diwali.
WHAT PUMPKIN IS USED FOR HALWA?
The pumpkins used to make halwa are usually known as yellow or red pumpkins. We used pumpkins native to the Caribbean and are perfect for this dessert. Any other pumpkins suitable for pumpkin pie can be used for this dessert.
It's easier to say do not use Jack-O'-Lantern pumpkins as they are not suitable for cooking.
KETO PUMPKIN HALWA INGREDIENTS
Fresh pumpkin is a must for this dessert. Canned pumpkin pie is not to be used. Use fresh and grate or cube it.
- Ghee - is used for a more authentic recipe, plus it's a great keto fat.
- Brown sweetener - we used the Besti Brand of brown monkfruit for a deeper flavour.
- Shredded coconut - must be unsweetened and can be optional if you don't like coconut.
- Pistachios - these are to serve with the dessert but could be replaced with any other low carb nuts.
- Coconut milk - we used coconut milk from a carton but tinned works great too.
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN HALWA
Pumpkin halwa can be cooked in an instant pot or on a stove. We have chosen to cook this on a stove and grated the pumpkin for easier cooking.
When cooking, stir regularly to ensure that the pumpkin mixture does not stick to the sides of the pan.
Melt the ghee in a pan
Add the grated pumpkin and cook until soft
Add the remaining ingredients and simmer.
Serve with pistachio nuts and enjoy hot or chilled.
Fresh pumpkin rather than pumpkin puree is essential to this low carb Indian dessert but you can make a few substitutions if you don't have every ingredient to hand.
- Cardamom - Vanilla or cinnamon could make a great swap.
- Brown low carb sweetener - any other low carb sweetener such as erythritol, allulose or Swerve could be substituted.
- Coconut - We used unsweetened shredded but unsweetened desiccated coconut works just as well.
- Almond milk can be used in place of coconut milk.
- Ghee can be replace with butter. Coconut oil can be used for a vegan version.
- Pistachios - Go nuts with nuts! Any low carb nuts are delicious with this dessert.
- Almond flour - I've seen versions with almond flour stirred into the cooked mixture to thicken the texture.
If you have leftovers they can be stored in the fridge. This pumpkin dessert is delicious the next day, serve chilled for breakfast.
HOW TO MAKE THIS VEGAN
Making this pumpkin dessert vegan is as simple as replacing the ghee with coconut oil. The texture may not be the same, so we would recommend adding an extra tablespoon of coconut milk or even coconut cream.
More Low Carb Pumpkin Desserts
If you enjoy pumpkin as a dessert, then you may enjoy these low carb recipes.
- 7 oz grated pumpkin about 2 cups
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons brown monkfruit or other low carb sweetener
- 1 tablespoon coconut flakes unsweetened
- 4 pistachios
- In a medium sized saucepan, melt the ghee on a medium heat.
- Add the grated pumpkin and cook for 10-12 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally to prevent the mixture sticking.
- Add the coconut milk, sweetener, coconut and cardamon. Simmer for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and serve warm or set aside to serve chill. Add chopped pistachios when serving.
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