December 05, 2013

Moraba-ye Kadoo Halvaie - Persian Pumpkin Jam

Moraba Kadoo Halvaie

I have always wanted to make مربای کدو حلوایی - pumpkin jam but for one reason or another, I never got around to it. One reason was knowing that my modified version of this recipe wouldn't turn out as good as my grandmother's. I always knew that I had big shoes to fill when it came to cooking. My paternal grandmother who we called Khanoum Ahvazi (lady from Ahvaz) was known for her delicious jams, pickles, and khiar shoor (pickled cucumbers). All her food looked and tasted amazing. Khanoum's pumpkin jam was different from any other ordinary jam; the pumpkin pieces were somewhat transparent, crisp, and slightly crunchy on the outside but soft and perfectly sweet on the inside.

What made the pumpkin pieces glass-like and crunchy was the use of آب آهک calcium oxide. I have been told that it's safe to use in food preparation if the directions are followed carefully. I imagine that my grandmother used her mother's recipe and that's how they all made this delicious pumpkin jam. However, since I am an advocate for non-chemical cooking I didn't want to use calcium oxide or any other kind of chemical in my cooking. Therefore, this recipe is not the exact same as my grandmother's. Not only did I not use the required calcium oxide solution, which was one of the key ingredients in this recipe, I essentially made this jam-based solely on the memory that I had of its taste, texture, color and nostalgic feelings for this childhood favorite. After making four different batches to get the pumpkin jam just right, I can finally say that I am pleased with the results and that this is also a healthier version.

Moraba-ye Kadoo Halvaie - Pumpkin Jam

Yields: approximately 5 cups

2 1/2 pounds pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cubed
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
3-4 cardamom pods
2 tablespoons rosewater


  1. In a small, heavy-bottomed pan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved in water, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes or until the syrup slightly thickens. Set aside.
  2. Put the pumpkin cubes into a large pot, pour the syrup over it and add the lime juice and cardamom.
  3. Bring to a boil for 5-7 minutes on medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, placing the lid slightly open (ajar). Cook for an hour or until they are very soft, gently stirring occasionally.
  4.  Add the rosewater in the last 10-15 minutes. You may want to remove the cardamom pods from the jam after cooking.
  5. Scoop the jam into clean and dry jars and store the jam in a cool dark place or refrigerate.


  1. WOWWWWW...this recipe is simple n at the same time so tempting to make...I seriously want to give this a try when I go home for my upcoming Xmas the way, I am really curious to know if pumpkin shoots are also considered as edible vegetables in Persian cuisine...

    1. Thanks Gaby jan! I don' think so. I have never heard that pumpkin shoots can be eaten.

  2. I just discovered your blog while searching for a reference for candied almonds. Now I've been looking through your archives and everything is so enticing. I've never had pumpkin jam before, although it makes sense since we can use it to make pumpkin butter! I will definitely be trying this out, maybe with kabocha instead of pumpkin? What do you usually eat this with?

    1. It's usually served with bread, butter and tea.

  3. Hello Azita :) havent seen you for a while :). First time I am hearing about jam made of pumpkin. sounds interesting love the photos , have a nice day