Lauki Halwa (Bottle Gourd Halwa – an Indian Dessert)

Lauki or bottlegourd halwa is a classic Indian dessert which is quick and easy to make. With just a few ingredients; sugar or jaggery , bottle gourd and  ghee, decadent and rich halwa/halva is ready. It is the perfect ending to any meal.

Halwa or halva is a dense sweet pudding like dessert made either with suji (semolina), grains, legumes or vegetables like carrots, beets etc. with sugar and lots of ghee and sometimes added milk products; flavored with exotic cardamom and studded with golden roasted nuts.  There are different variations of halwa made in the Middle East, Europe or even in Asia. In India,  lauki halwa is made with bottle gourd, one of the lesser known vegetables from the gourd family.

Although a much ignored vegetable because of its bland taste, it is packed with nutrition. Lauki juice is considered very good for the stomach, especially if taken first thing in the morning.

After enjoying spicy lauki ka kofta (bottle gourd koftas in spicy, creamy gravy) with laccha methi paratha (layered paratha flavored with dried fenugreek leaves), I had a large piece of bottle gourd leftover and lauki halwa seemed the perfect way to make use of this amazing vegetable to satisfy my occasional sweet tooth.

Traditionally, halwas are made with carrots, beetroots and ash gourd too. Lauki  halwa is another way to enjoy this healthy vegetable; albeit with a few extra calories; but when it is in the form of a dessert, who cares, right?

Most halwa recipes use a bit of milk, but I have chosen to avoid it. Traditionally, we make halwa with ash gourd, another vegetable from the gourd family, but today, I followed the same method with lauki. I love the bite and texture this vegetable gives to this amazing dessert, unlike ash gourd which is slightly softer in texture. For a more nutritious halwa, I have substituted regular sugar with jaggery (unrefined form of cane sugar).

Feel free to add milk or even khoya (dried whole milk) to make a richer halwa. Ghee/clarified butter and nuts add to the richness and crunch; I have used cashew nuts; you can use almonds or even pistachios. The only muscle workout you will have is when you manually grate the lauki and if you have a food processor, it becomes much easier. Rest of the work is done by the stove; you will only have to keep stirring in between to avoid burning of the halwa at the bottom of the saucepan.

For a vegan option, avoid adding ghee and use oil; although to enjoy the full richness and flavor of the halwa, I would recommend you use ghee. If jaggery is hard to find, sugar can be easily substituted. Grate some paneer (Indian cottage cheese) into the simmering halwa for a richer taste. You can add a bit of condensed milk (reduce sugar accordingly) and it adds a different dimension to the flavor of halwa.

Any which way you make this rich, sweet and decadent Indian dessert, you will love it! Serve it after dinner, at a party or just as a mid morning snack. For a more divine experience, serve warm lauki halwa with a scoop of vanilla ice cream; you will love the warmth of halwa with every spoonful of cold, creamy ice cream!

Store leftovers in the refrigerator, especially in the summers.

For more similar Indian desserts, try: Golden Mango Sheera, Dates and Oats Payasam, Instant Rasmalai etc.

Lauki/Bottle Gourd Halwa
Serves 4
Lauki Halwa is a classic Indian dessert (gluten free) made with bottle gourd and sugar drenched in the richness of ghee and tinged with cardamom powder. It is going to be your favorite to-go dessert.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
214 calories
25 g
33 g
13 g
0 g
8 g
38 g
1 g
25 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
38g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 214
Calories from Fat 112
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
20%
Saturated Fat 8g
40%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 33mg
11%
Sodium 1mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 25g
8%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 25g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
0%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups grated lauki/bottlegourd
  2. ½ cup powdered jaggery (unrefined cane sugar) or plain granulated sugar
  3. ½ teaspoon elaichi powder/cardamom powder
  4. 6 to 8 cashew nuts
  5. 4 tablespoons ghee
Instructions
  1. Peel and grate lauki and place in a pressure pan.
  2. Add about ½ to ¾ cups of water, mix and cook on pressure for about 2 whistles.
  3. Once the pressure drops, open the pan and cook the bottle gourd on medium high until most of the moisture is gone. If you do not have a pressure pan, just cook the gourd in an open pan until all the moisture evaporates.
  4. Add jaggery (or sugar is you prefer) and 2 tablespoons of ghee and mix well.
  5. Cook again on medium high, stirring continuously until the moisture is almost gone; add more ghee if you want a richer halwa.
  6. Once most of the moisture is gone and you get a thick mixture with ghee glistening from the edges of the halwa, stir in cardamom powder and give it a good stir. Remove from heat.
  7. In a small saucepan, heat rest of the ghee and add cashew nuts; fry until light golden brown. Tip this into the halwa and mix well.
  8. Transfer into serving bowls, garnish with additional cashew nuts and serve hot or cold.
Notes
  1. Choose tender bottle gourds to make halwa. I found a few seeds in the lauki I had. They were tender, so I decided to use them in the halwa to give a different texture to the dessert. If you do not like the seeds or they are hard, you can remove them while grating.
  2. Adjust the amount of jaggery according to your taste. If you cannot find jaggery, you can add plain white sugar to sweeten this halwa.
  3. For a richer taste, add khoya or grated paneer to the halwa while it is cooking.
beta
calories
214
fat
13g
protein
0g
carbs
25g
more
Curry and Vanilla http://www.curryandvanilla.com/

How to make Lauki or Bottle Gourd Halwa:

  • Peel and grate lauki and place in a pressure pan.
  • Add about ½ to ¾ cups of water, mix and cook on pressure for about 2 whistles.
  • Once the pressure drops, open the pan and cook the bottle gourd on medium high until most of the moisture is gone. If you do not have a pressure pan, just cook the gourd in an open pan until all the moisture evaporates.
  • Add jaggery (or sugar is you prefer) and 2 tablespoons of ghee and mix well.
  • Cook again on medium high, stirring continuously until the moisture is almost gone; add more ghee if you want a richer halwa.
  • Once most of the moisture is gone and you get a thick mixture with ghee glistening from the edges of the halwa, stir in cardamom powder and give it a good stir. Remove from heat.
  • In a small saucepan, heat rest of the ghee and add cashew nuts; fry until light golden brown. Tip this into the halwa and mix well.
  • Transfer into serving bowls, garnish with additional cashew nuts and serve hot or cold. Enjoy!!

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7 comments

  1. Jhuls says:

    Now, this sounds lovely!! I haven’t tried this one before, but with those amazing ingredients, I bet it tastes superb! Thanks for sharing at FF party. 🙂

    • curryandvanilla says:

      Thanks Jhuls 🙂 You must try this soon; carrot halwa is another dessert we all love! Excited to be part of FF..

    • curryandvanilla says:

      Thanks a lot Elaine 🙂 Halwa is one of the most easiest and tastiest Indian desserts we love; you must try one soon!

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