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Lauki Ka Halwa is a popular North Indian dessert made with bottle gourd or also known as doodhi ka halwa. This recipe is a perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess in a bowl, flavored with aromatic saffron and cardamon powder gives this halwa a divine taste and flavors.
Lauki Ka Halwa is tradtitionally slow cooked dessert made with simple ingredients, i.e. lauki (bottle gourd / doodhi), milk, sugar, and ghee or clarified butter, simmered until lauki is cooked through. Flavored with aromatic saffron and green cardamon powder, makes it so flavorful and delicious ?
Typically, Lauki Ka Halwa is served during the festivals, but my mom used to make this halwa quite often as it was one of my favorite desserts. I have a fond memories of this Lauki Ka halwa, me and my brother use to help my mom grate the lauki, since this was the only time consuming part in making of this halwa. The rest was pretty easy, I remember my mom used to cook this halwa in a pressure cooker, making it a quick and anytime dessert, we didn’t have to wait for any festival to enjoy this delicacy.
What is Lauki ?
Lauki also known as doodhi / opo squash / bottle gourd is one of the healthiest and quite versatile vegetable full of water (about 92%) and minerals and keeps our body hydrated. Lauki or Bottle gourd is high in water content and is a rich source of vitamin C, K and calcium. It also helps in maintaining a healthy heart and also helps lower bad cholesterol levels. The bottle gourd juice is also beneficial for diabetic patients as it helps stabilizes the blood sugar level and maintains blood pressure.
How to pick a perfect Lauki?
Lauki or bottle gourd is easily available in most Indian/Asian grocery stories. When picking a lauki, choose young, firm lauki for best results. The skin of the lauki is light green color and the flesh of the lauki is white. Lauki comes in various sizes and thickness.
How to prep lauki for Lauki Ka Halwa?
Peel the skin and discard the end portions of lauki, and scoop out and discard any large seeds or white part that is soft or soggy before cooking. If lauki is fresh, there may not be as many seeds, and also the white part will be quite firm.
Medium grate the lauki, if grated too thin the halwa will turn mushy and if grated too thick the halwa will have bigger chunks. You can hand grate it using a hand grater or even use a food processor to grate the lauki.
Note: Do not keep the lauki for a long time after grating, as it will start to loose moisture (will turn watery) and will also start to turn black in color.
How to make Lauki Ka Halwa vegan / dairy-free?
- Use vegan butter or any cooking oil
- substitute full fat milk and heavy cream with nut milk like almond milk, or even coconut milk works great.
- substitute non-fat dry milk powder instead of full fat dry milk powder.
How to make Lauki Ka Halwa nut-free?
For a nut-free lauki ka halwa, simply skip the almond flour and garnish with nuts. Instead you can use some pumpkin seeds for garnish. It will still taste delicious.
How to make Lauki Ka Halwa sugar-free?
For a sugar-free lauki ka halwa, substitute sweetener of your choice instead of condensed milk.
Here are some more Indian desserts for you to enjoy!!
Carrot Halwa, quick and easy carrot halwa.
Sweet Potato Halwa , delicious and healthy dessert made with sweet potatoes.
Basundi , thickened sweet milk flavored with some cardamom and saffron.
Why use almond flour?
I have a picky eater at home, my little one, my princess. She absolutely dislikes any kind of nuts in her food. And I think adding almond flour is the best way to seek in some of the essential nutrients into her diet, without even her knowing ? Adding almond flour is optional, you could also add some handful of crushed almonds, will work just fine or make it nut-free, will totally do.
How to store Lauki Ka Halwa?
Lauki Ka Halwa / Bottle gourd Halwa - Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker
- 4 cups firmly packed medium grated lauki bottle gourd
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 cup full fat milk
- 2 tbsp warm full fat milk
- 15-20 saffron strands
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/2 - 3/4 can (14 oz) condensed milk or to taste
- 1 cup full fat milk powder
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 10 - 12 silvered almonds add more if desired
Instructions for Instant Pot Cooking:
- Soak saffron strands in 2 tbsp of warm milk, keep it aside.
- Turn on Instant Pot to saute mode (high).
- When it displays "HOT", add 1 tbsp of ghee, grated lauki.
- Saute for 3-5 min, sauteing occasionally. Add cup of milk. Mix well. Turn off Instant Pot.
- Turn on Manual/Pressure cook mode (high), 5 mins, vent sealed. When Instant Pot beeps, quickly release pressure. Open the IP lid.
- Turn on saute mode (high), add cream, milk powder, condensed milk, saffron soaked in milk, cardamom powder, almond flour. Mix well.
- Saute on high until all the moisture is evaporated, around 5-7 mins.
- Switch off Instant Pot.
- Lauki Ka Halwa is ready to be served. Garnish with some silvered almonds. Enjoy!!
- Grate the lauki to a medium thickness, if grated too thin the halwa will turn mushy and if grated too thick halwa will have big pieces.
- Adjust the sweetness as per taste.
- Almond flour is optional, you can substitute crushed almonds instead or make it nut-free. Nuts of choice such as cashews, raisins may also be added.
- Halwa stays good for a week in a refrigerator and upto a month in a freezer.
- Cardamom powder and saffron gives lauki ka halwa a nice aroma.
- For stove top cooking, follow the same instructions as discussed in the recipe. Add milk, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce and cook until all the moisture has evaporated, around 10-15 mins, stirring occasionally to prevent any sticking to the bottom. Rest of the steps remain the same as Instant Pot. Note: Use a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot for cooking halwa on a stove top. Helps prevent sticking of halwa at the bottom.
- Instead of condensed milk, you can also use sugar, condensed milk gives halwa a nice rich taste. You may also substitute khoya to enhance the flavor.
- Few drops of green food color may be added to get the green color halwa.
- For Vegan / dairy free options please refer to - How to make Lauki Ka Halwa vegan/dairy-free? discussed earlier in the post.
- For nut-free options please refer to - How to make Lauki Ka Halwa nut-free? discussed earlier in the post.
- For refined sugar-free options please refer to - How to make Lauki Ka Halwa sugar-free? discussed earlier in the post.