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Dudhi Halwa or Lauki halwa is a rich Indian sweet made using bottle gourd, ghee, sugar and milk. Flavoured with cardamom and loaded with nuts it is a perfect party dessert.
What is Dudhi/Lauki?
Bottle gourd or dudhi has a light green colour and white inner inside flesh. Generally, the round shapes are called Calabash and the long slender ones bottle gourd.
Bottle gourd is a very common vegetable used in Indian Cuisine. With 90percent water content, it is a low-calorie vegetable. It is believed to help in weight loss and relieves constipation.
Dudhi or lauki is from the gourd family and I find it very similar to Zucchini or courgette. So at times I interchange my Zucchini/Courgette recipes with Dudhi/Lauki and vice versa. I have a similar Zucchini Halwa on my blog too.
Recipes with Dudhi/Lauki
Dudhi kofta (Fritters), Dudhi kofta sabji, Dudhi channa dal, Dudhi paratha, Dudhi Muthia, Dudhi raita, Lauki soup, Lauki juice are a few of the common recipes commonly made using dudhi and a part of everyday meals in India.
Though it is one of the healthiest vegetables, there are a few takers for this. Of course when it is sneaked in muthia or if one makes fritters/koftas from it, it is consumed in no time.
One such recipe with this healthy vegetable is this Dudhi Halwa. The process of making dudhi halwa is similar to that of gajar or carrot halwa.
However, I make the Gajar or carrot halwa without ghee or mawa and in this Dudhi halwa, I add a bit of ghee. The reason being the flesh of dudhi is soft than carrot and hence I love to cook it with a bit of ghee initially. Cooking with ghee also adds a nice taste and texture to the dish.
Recipe process of Dudhi Halwa
One needs a bit of patience in making any classic sweet or dessert. The recipe is simple but it needs a bit of time.
Pressure cooker or Open Pot method
Yes, one can make this in a pressure cooker or Instant pot too, and the time is reduced a little. But sill the simmering of milk needs to be done. If the milk is replaced with milk solids and cooked in a pressure cooker the time would be reduced. I prefer the open pot method when making a halwa and I am sharing the recipe in the same way today.
I use a thick grater to grate the dudhi. As dudhi’s flesh is tender, if you do it thin cut you might feel it as almost dissolved in the halwa. I prefer the thick as it has some bite.
I first cook the dudhi in ghee for 4-5 minutes. In the meantime, if you are using milk, boil and simmer it until it starts thickening.
Dudhi halwa using Evaporated milk
I at times use evaporated milk. Evaporated milk is nothing but milk that is already reduced. So the cooking time is reduced.
Dudhi Halwa without mava
I do not add any mawa, as I am using full-fat milk which already has a good amount of fat in it. One can add mawa or milk solids if required.
Then add the milk to the dudhi and cook the dudhi along with the milk, until the milk reduces. once that is done add sugar and cook it further until all mixed and sugar is cooked and absorbed completely. Switch off and add cardamom powder and nuts.
Cardamom powder should always be added after switching off the cooking process or else it loses its aroma. Also, it is best to make cardamom powder fresh or in small batches as it loses its aroma.
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So here goes the recipe of Dudhi Halwa
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Dudhi Halwa (Lauki halwa)
- Heavy Bottom Pan
- Thick grater
- 1 Dudhi/Lauki/Bottle Gourd grated 12 inches – roughly around 4 Cups
- 2 Cup Full-Fat milk or 1 Cup Evaporated Milk
- 2 tablespoon Ghee Clarified Butter
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Cardamom Powder
- 1/4 cup finely chopped nuts I used almonds and Cashew
- If using Milk, In a heavy bottom, pan add milk and let it come to a boil.
- Once it starts boiling, on slow let the milk simmer for 10 minutes.
- The milk should be thickened and reduce slightly.
- In the meantime, peel and grate the dudhi. I have used a thick cut grater to grate the dudhi.
- In a thick pot or Kadai (wok) add ghee.
- Once hot add the dudhi and cook on medium for around 4-5 minutes until it becomes a bit soft.
- Add the reduced milk or the evaporated milk to the dudhi and let the dudhi cook along with milk on slow.
- Keep stirring the mixture until it reduces and the milk is almost evaporated.
- Now add the sugar and cook again on slow.
- The sugar will melt and the mixture would be watery again.
- Cook again, stirring continuously until the sugar has completely mixed into it and the mixture is not watery.
- Switch off, and add the cardamom powder and Chopped Nuts.
- It’s ready. Serve it hot or cold as you like.
- Standard US Size Cups used
- Use Full-fat milk for best results.
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This post was first published on August 22, 2017. Today I am updating this post with content and new pics. Also adding a recipe on how to cook with evaporated milk.