Lauki halwa is a delectable Indian sweet made from bottle gourd (lauki), sugar, flavoured with cardamom and garnished with nuts. Perfect Indian dessert for special occasions and parties.
This scrumptious bottle gourd halwa, also referred to as lauki halwa, dudhi halwa or sorakaya halwa is served hot or warm. It’s often enjoyed as a sweet treat during special occasions and celebrations.
- Vegetable: Fresh bottle gourd is used here.
- Sweetener: Refined white sugar has been used to sweeten the halwa.
- Nuts, Dried Fruits and Spices: Cardamom, cashew nuts, raisins and melon seeds.
- Dairy: Ghee to fry nuts, dried fruits and to cook halwa.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to make lauki halwa?
Peel and grate the bottle gourd. Squeeze the grated lauki to remove any extra water.
Heat the ghee in a heavy-bottomed steel pan over medium heat.
Add cashew nuts and raisins and fry them until they become golden brown. Set them aside.
Add the grated bottle gourd to the hot ghee in the same pan and cook until soft and the raw smell goes away.
Now add the sugar and continue to cook. Continue stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to thicken.
Continue cooking the halwa until it thickens to your desired consistency. It should leave the sides of the pan and turn into a thick, creamy mixture. This process can take around 15-20 minutes.
Stir in the cardamom powder, fried nuts, and raisins once the halwa has thickened and reduced.
Serve the lukewarm halwa warm or at room temperature.
Variations and Substitutions
Sweeteners: Instead of sugar, you can use alternatives like jaggery or brown sugar.
Nuts: Add your choice of nuts for extra flavour and texture. Try adding slivered almonds, pistachios, along with cashews, melon seeds and raisins.
Vegan Option: Replace ghee with coconut oil or vegan butter to make a vegan version of lauki halwa.
Lauki halwa is a comforting dessert that can be enjoyed by itself or paired with complementary accompaniments. Ultimately, how to serve it is up to you and the occasion.
For the best taste, serve Lauki halwa hot or warm. Enjoy it on its own or enhance the experience with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a contrasting taste. The cold and creamy contrast of ice cream complements the warm and sweet halwa.
Fridge: Leftover halwa can stay in the fridge for a week.
Reheat: Heat it in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.
Tips and Tricks
Choose the Right Lauki: Select a young, tender bottle gourd for a sweeter and less fibrous halwa. Avoid overripe or mature gourds as they tend to be less flavorful.
Squeeze the Liquid: Grate the bottle gourd finely and squeeze out excess water. This will help cook the halwa quicker.
Use a Heavy-Bottomed Pan: Cook the halwa in a heavy-bottomed stainless steel pan to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
Sauté the Bottle Gourd: Start by sautéing the grated bottle gourd in ghee until it loses most of its moisture. This process improves the taste and eliminates excess moisture.
Patience is Key: Cooking lauki halwa is a slow and time-consuming process. Cook lauki on low to medium heat for flavors to meld and proper cooking.
Stir Frequently: Stir the halwa frequently to prevent it from sticking to the pan and to ensure even cooking.
Add Sugar Gradually: Add sugar or sweetener gradually to control the sweetness. Taste the halwa and adjust the amount of sugar according to your preference.
Consistency: The halwa is ready when it reaches a thick consistency with the ghee separating from the mixture.
How to cook lauki halwa in instant pot?
Making lauki halwa in an Instant Pot is relatively easy and the final dish is delightful. The Instant Pot's pressure cooking and sauté functions simplify the cooking process compared to the traditional stovetop method.
Start the Instant Pot in “Sauté” mode and add ghee to it. Let it heat up.
Add raisins, cashew nuts and sauté for a minute until the raisins start to plump up. Now add melon seeds and saute until cashews turn a golden colour.
Remove them from the pot to a bowl and set aside.
Now add the grated bottle gourd to the steel pot and sauté it in the remaining ghee for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. This step helps remove excess moisture from the bottle gourd.
Stir in sugar and close the Instant Pot with the lid and set it to “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
After the cooking time is complete, release the pressure manually. Be careful when doing this.
Open the Instant Pot and set it to “Sauté” mode again. Stir the halwa continuously until the mixture thickens and most of the liquid evaporates and reaches your desired consistency. This may take about 10-15 minutes.
Once the halwa is thick and the ghee starts to separate from it, turn off the Instant Pot.
Add cardamom powder, fried nuts and raisins.
Delicious lauki halwa is ready to serve.
For extended storage, you can freeze Lauki halwa for up to 2 months.
Let the cooked lauki halwa cool down to room temperature.
Divide the halwa into individual serving-sized portions or the portion size you desire. This simplifies the process of thawing and reheating, reducing waste.
Use airtight, freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. Squeeze out excess air from the bags before sealing them.
Place the containers or bags in the freezer. Ensure that they are placed flat and not stacked on top of each other at first, so they freeze uniformly. Once frozen solid, stack them to maximize space.
Take out the portion of lauki halwa you need from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
You can reheat it in the microwave or stovetop after it's thawed.
Microwave it for short durations, making sure to stir in between, for even heating. When reheating on the stovetop, use low heat and stir constantly to avoid sticking or burning.
Freezing and reheating may cause a slight change in the texture of the halwa, but it will still be delicious.
KEEP IN TOUCH
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📖 Recipe Card
- 1 Heavy Bottom Steel Pan
- 1 Spoon
- Peel and grate the bottle gourd. Squeeze the grated lauki to remove any extra water.470 gms (or) 1.5 Cups Bottle Gourd
- Heat the ghee in a heavy-bottomed steel pan over medium heat.120 ml (or) ⅓ cup Ghee
- Add cashew nuts and raisins and fry them until they become golden brown. Add melon seeds and fry until cashews become golden brown. Set them aside.10 Cashew Nuts, 20 Raisins, 1 Tablespoon Melon seeds
- Add the grated bottle gourd to the hot ghee in the same pan and cook until soft and the raw smell goes away.
- Now add the sugar and continue to cook. Continue stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to thicken.400 gms Sugar
- Continue cooking the halwa until it thickens to your desired consistency. It should leave the sides of the pan and turn into a thick, creamy mixture. This process can take around 15-20 minutes.
- Stir in the cardamom powder, fried nuts, and raisins once the halwa has thickened and reduced.1 Teaspoon Cardamom Powder
- Serve the lukewarm halwa warm or at room temperature.
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