Lauki Halwa (The Sweet Bottlegourd pudding)
One of the most commonly made vegetables in Indian households, one has often rated the bottle gourd as a boring vegetable. but not till it gives you this delicious and gorgeous looking halwa which is not just a perfect dessert for everyone who loves the unconventional but also a reason to celebrate everyday life by cooking it up in your daily routine and pairing it up with anything you like!
3-3.5 cups grated lauki (bottle gourd)
4 tbsp clarified butter
1 cup milk
7-8 tbsp powdered jaggery
¼ tsp cardamom powder
A pinch of salt
A small handful of golden raisins
A handful each of cashew nuts and almonds
2 tsp rose water
- Peel, cut and remove the seeds from the gourd. Grate or process in a food processor. You should have 3 – 3.5 cups of grated vegetable.
- Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a large, thick-bottomed pan. Add the cashews and raisins and fry till raisins are plump and cashews are golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the rest of the ghee. When it is sufficiently hot, add the grated lauki and saute on medium heat for 7-8 minutes.
- Now add the milk and cook the lauki on low heat till done, but not entirely mushy. This should take another 10 minutes or so. Once cooked, the lauki should have absorbed most of the milk.
- Increase the heat to medium and add jaggery powder, cardamom powder, and salt. The sugar will introduce some liquid. Keep stirring continuously to dry it out.
- After a few more minutes, you will see that the halwa starts to thicken and turn glossy. The halwa will also start to come away from the sides of the pan and begin to chase the spoon when stirred. Increase the heat and fry the halwa for just a couple of minutes more and remove from the heat. When the halwa is cooked and becomes thick, add the rose water and mix well.
- Garnish with the nuts and raisins and enjoy it with one to two pieces of gulab jamun and serve. Halwa can be served hot, warm or even cold as per your preference.