Lauki Ka Halwa (Dudhi Halwa, Bottle Gourd Halwa) is a traditional Indian dessert made using bottle gourd, milk, khoya, and a few other ingredients. Make it for festivals or special occasions using my simple recipe (vegetarian, gluten-free).
Halwa is a popular Indian sweet that can be made using multiple ways. Here are some of my favorite halwa recipes – Moong Dal Halwa, Aate Ka Halwa, Suji Ka Halwa, Aloo Ka Halwa, Rajgira Halwa, Bread Halwa, Beetroot Halwa, and Besan Ka Halwa.
About Lauki Ka Halwa (Dudhi Halwa)
Lauki Ka Halwa (Dudhi Halwa, Bottle Gourd Halwa) is a North Indian dessert made using bottle gourd, milk, khoya (reduced solid milk), and ghee. It is garnished with lots of slivered nuts which not only make it more tempting but also add a nice crunch to it.
It is rich, creamy, and sweet and has a very nice bite from the grated lauki.
Lauki is available around the year and so it’s a great choice to make halwa whenever you crave some. Unlike Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa), which can only be made in winter when fresh red carrots are in season, this lauki halwa can be enjoyed around the year.
Doodhi Halwa can be made for festivals like Holi, Diwali, Rakshabandhan, etc, or for special occasions. It is also a great dessert to make for vrat days (Hindu fasting) like Navratri, Shivaratri, or Ekadashi.
This halwa takes some time together, but slow cooking is the key to making it creamy and rich.
This lauki ka halwa recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free and you can easily double or triple it if making it for a crowd.
All the ingredients to make dudhi halwa recipe are easily available in any Indian grocery store.
Lauki – Lauki is also called doodhi, ghiya, opo squash, or bottle gourd and is a summer vegetable that is high in water content. Pick up young tender lauki with light green skin with no blemishes.
If the bottle gourd is left on the wine for a long time, it turns bitter. So choosing a good lauki is very important.
Milk and Khoya – The addition of milk and khoya (reduced solid milk) adds to the creaminess of this halwa.
Always use whole milk (full fat milk) to make the halwa. If you add skim milk or low-fat milk, there are high chance of milk getting curdled.
Khoya is available in the refrigerator section of any Indian grocery store. If khoya is not available easily, you can mix some dry milk powder with milk and make a dough-like mixture, and use it in place of khoya or use ricotta cheese in its place.
Cardamom Powder – I really love the flavor cardamom powder adds to my desserts. Do not skip it.
If you don’t have cardamom powder, crush a few whole green cardamoms and use them.
Nuts – Nuts add a lovely crunch to the creamy halwa.
Other Ingredients – Other than the above-mentioned ingredients, you will also need ghee, rose water, and sugar to make lauki halwa recipe.
Rosewater adds a nice flavor and makes the halwa aromatic. You can replace it with kewra water or kewra essence. If using kewra essence, then use just 2-3 drops otherwise the halwa will become bitter in taste.
You can substitute regular sugar with brown sugar, cane sugar, or even powdered jaggery.
Doodhi halwa sold at Indian sweet shops is mostly green in color. It is because of the added green color to it. Add a little bit of green food color if you want a green color halwa.
How To Make Lauki Halwa
Start by preparing the lauki. Peel a small lauki using a vegetable peeler. You should reach the soft part and discard all the hard skin.
Now cut it into half vertically and remove all the seeds and the pith if there are any. Taste the lauki and make sure it’s not bitter or sour.
Grate it using the medium hole of a box grater. If you have a food processor, you can use it too, it makes the grating process easier and faster.
Weigh 10 oz (300 g) of grated lauki and use the rest to make other recipes like this Lauki ka Bharta.
Crush 10-12 almonds and 10-12 cashew nuts in a mortar and pestle.
Grate 7 oz (200 g) khoya.
Gather all the other ingredients.
Fry The Khoya
Add 7 oz (200 g) of grated khoya to a non-stick pan and cook it on medium heat until it turns slightly brown (4-5 minutes), stirring continuously. This is to remove the raw smell of the khoya.
Set it aside.
Make The Halwa
Heat 4 tablespoon ghee in a large heavy bottom pan over medium heat.
Once the ghee is hot, add 10-12 crushed almonds and 10-12 crushed cashew nuts to the pan. Fry them until they are golden brown in color (1-2 minutes), stirring frequently.
Add 10 oz (300 g) of grated bottle gourd to the pan and fry for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.
Now add 3 cups of whole milk to the pan and mix well.
Reduce the heat to low.
Cook the halwa until all the milk has reduced (20-25 minutes). Keep stirring frequently to avoid milk from burning at the bottom of the pan.
Once the milk has reduced, add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder and ¼ teaspoon rose water and cook for a minute.
Add the browned khoya and ¾ cup sugar to the pan and mix everything well. The halwa will become slightly runny at this stage because of the melted sugar.
Increase the heat to medium.
Cook until the halwa has thickened and the ghee starts to leave the sides of the pan (15-20 minutes), stirring frequently.
Note – Do not overcook otherwise the halwa will become too thick do not undercooked otherwise it will be watery.
Garnish the ready halwa with almonds and pistachio slivers. I also like to add some dry rose petals as they give a nice contrast. If making it for a special occasion, you can also press some edible silver leaf on top. Serve warm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Press SAUTE button and add 4 tablespoon ghee to the instant pot.
Add 300 g of grated lauki to the pot and saute for 4-5 minutes.
Add 1 cup of whole milk and close the lid of the pot. Set the valve to the sealing position.
Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 2 minutes.
Once the timer goes off, release the pressure manually. Open the lid and press SAUTE again.
Add 1 cup milk powder and ¼ cup sugar to the pot and cook for 8-10 minutes until the halwa has thickened.
Stir in ½ teaspoon cardamom powder and ¼ teaspoon rose water. Garnish with slivered almonds and pistachios. Halwa is ready to serve.
Substitute dairy milk with almond milk or coconut milk and ghee with vegan butter. Skip adding the khoya. Keep in mind to never cook the halwa on high heat, most vegan milk has a tendency to split when cooked on high heat.
To make the halwa with condensed milk, reduce the amount of milk to half, and use condensed milk instead. You do not need khoya in this version.
You can also avoid adding sugar or reduce the amount of the same if you are adding condensed milk, as it is quite sweet.
I always suggest tasting the bottle gourd before making the halwa. It should have a neutral taste, and should not taste sour or bitter. If your bottle gourd is bitter or sour, it will affect the taste of the halwa too.
Do not panic if the milk curdles while cooking. Cook the halwa as per the recipe, it will still taste good. The cooking time will slightly increase in this case.
You can skip adding mawa to this recipe and make the halwa in just milk or you can add 1 cup of milk powder in the place of mawa to make the halwa richer.
Serve dudhi halwa warm or at room temperature.
I like to serve this delicious halwa for festivals like Holi, Diwali, Rakshabandhan, etc, along with some savories like Namak Para, Cornflakes Chivda, etc.
You can serve warm doodhi halwa with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to make it even more indulgent.
It can be served as a dessert with any Indian-style meals for parties or get-togethers.
You can store bottle gourd halwa in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Reheat in the pan or in the microwave for about a minute or two before serving.
You Might Also Like
Lauki Ka Halwa Recipe (Dudhi Halwa, Bottle Gourd Halwa)
- 7 ounce grated khoya (200 g)
- 4 tablespoons ghee
- 10-12 almonds (crushed into small pieces)
- 10-12 cashew nuts (crushed into small pieces)
- 10 ounce peeled, seeded, and grated lauki (bottle gourd) (300 g)
- 3 cups whole milk (full-fat milk)
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- ¼ teaspoon rose water
- ¾ cup sugar
- slivered nuts for garnishing
Fry The Khoya
- Add khoya to a non-stick pan and cook it on medium heat until it turns slightly brown (4-5 minutes), stirring continuously. This is to remove the raw smell of the khoya.
- Set it aside.
Make The Halwa
- Heat ghee in a heavy bottom large size pan over medium heat.
- Once the ghee is hot, add almonds and cashew nuts to the pan. Fry them until they are golden brown in color (1-2 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Add lauki to the pan and fry for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Now add whole milk to the pan and mix well.
- Reduce the heat to low.
- Cook the halwa until all the milk has reduced (20-25 minutes). Keep stirring frequently to avoid milk from burning at the bottom of the pan.
- Add cardamom powder and rose water and cook for a minute.
- Add the browned khoya and sugar to the pan and mix everything well. The halwa will become slightly runny at this stage because of the melted sugar.
- Increase the heat to medium.
- Cook until the halwa has thickened and the ghee starts to leave the sides of the pan (15-20 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Do not overcook otherwise the halwa will become too thick, and do not undercooked otherwise it will be watery.
- Garnish the ready halwa with almonds and pistachio slivers. I also like to add some dry rose petals as they give a nice contrast. Serve warm.