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.
10ouncepeeled, seeded, and grated lauki (bottle gourd)300 g
3cupswhole milk (full-fat milk)
¾cupgranulated 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.
Always use whole milk (full-fat milk) to make the halwa.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.You can substitute regular sugar with brown sugar, cane sugar, or powdered jaggery.I always suggest tasting the bottle gourd before making the halwa. It should have a neutral taste, not sour or bitter. If your bottle gourd is bitter or sour, it will affect the taste of the halwa too.