Lauki Halwa (Dudhi Halwa, Bottle Gourd Halwa) is a traditional Indian dessert made using bottle gourd, milk, khoya, and other ingredients. Make it for festivals or special occasions using my simple recipe (vegetarian, gluten-free).
About Lauki Halwa (Dudhi Halwa)
Lauki 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, making it more tempting and adding a nice crunch to it.
It is rich, creamy, sweet, and has a lovely bite from the grated lauki.
Lauki is available around the year, 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, or special occasions. It is also an excellent dessert for vrat days (Hindu fasting) like Navratri, Shivaratri, or Ekadashi.
This halwa takes some time to come 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.
Halwa is a popular Indian sweet that can be made using multiple ways. Here are some of my favorite halwa recipes
- Moong Dal Halwa
- Atta Halwa
- Sooji Halwa
- Aloo Ka Halwa
- Rajgira Halwa
- Bread Halwa
- Beetroot Halwa
- Gajar ka Halwa
- Besan Halwa
All the ingredients to make dudhi halwa recipe are readily available in any Indian grocery store.
Lauki – Lauki is also called doodhi, ghiya, calabash squash, opo squash, or bottle gourd and is a summer vegetable with high water content. Pick up young tender lauki with light green skin with no blemishes.
It turns bitter if the bottle gourd is left on the wine for a long time. So choosing a good lauki is very important.
Milk and Khoya – Adding milk and khoya (reduced solid milk) adds to the creaminess of this halwa.
Always use whole milk (full fat milk) to make lauki halwa. If you add skim milk or low-fat milk, there is a high chance of milk getting curdled.
Khoya is available in the refrigerator section of any Indian grocery store. If khoya is unavailable, you can mix some dry milk powder with milk, make a dough-like mixture, and use it instead of khoya or use ricotta cheese.
Cardamom Powder – I love the flavor cardamom powder adds to my desserts. Please do not skip it.
If you don’t have cardamom powder, crush and use a few green cardamom.
Nuts – Nuts add a lovely crunch to the creamy halwa.
Other Ingredients – You will also need ghee, rose water, and granulated white 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, use just 2-3 drops; otherwise, lauki ka halwa will become bitter.
You can substitute regular white sugar with brown sugar, cane sugar, or powdered jaggery.
Doodhi halwa sold at Indian sweet shops is mostly green in color. It is because of the added green tint to it. Add a little bit of green food color if you want a green-colored 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 golden brown (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 frequently stirring to prevent milk from burning at the pan’s bottom.
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 of granulated white 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, lauki halwa will become too thick. Do not undercook; otherwise, it will be watery.
Garnish the ready halwa with almonds and pistachio slivers. I also like adding some dry rose petals as they contrast nicely. If making it for a special occasion, you can 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 lauki 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. Remember never to cook the halwa on high heat; most vegan milk tends to split when cooked on high heat.
To make lauki 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 if you are adding condensed milk, as it is pretty sweet.
I always suggest tasting the bottle gourd before making lauki ka halwa. It should have a neutral taste and should not taste sour or bitter. If your bottle gourd is bitter or sour, it will also affect the taste of halwa.
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 lauki halwa in just milk, or you can add 1 cup of milk powder in the place of mawa to make lauki ka 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 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 the microwave for about a minute before serving.
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Lauki 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 granulated white 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 (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 prevent 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 undercook, otherwise, it will be watery.
- Garnish the ready halwa with almonds and pistachio slivers. I also like adding some dry rose petals as they contrast nicely. If making it for a special occasion, you can press some edible silver leaf on top. Serve warm.