Lauki halwa is a sweet Indian dessert made with bottle gourd or opo squash, milk, ghee, sugar and flavored with cardamom and nuts. This is a well known variant of halwa made with a vegetable – here in this case with Bottle Gourd which is also called as Lauki or Ghiya in Hindi and Dudhi in Marathi languages. So this sweet is known by the name ‘lauki ka halwa’ or ‘dudhi halwa’. You can easily make this halwa variant as a sweet dish on any day or during Hindu fasting days like Navratri fast or Ekadashi.
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About Lauki ka Halwa
There are a few halwa variants made with vegetables in North Indian cuisine. I make halwa with three veggies – carrots, beetroot and bottle gourd on occasions. But to tell you a fact, I have also learned to make potato halwa in my cooking school decades back.
Most of the halwa made from vegetables need them to be grated first and then slow cooked in milk.
This recipe of Lauki halwa also follows the same technique of cooking where grated bottle gourd is initially sauteed in ghee and then simmered in milk till you get a thick consistency.
It is easy to make but takes some time. Similar to Carrot Halwa, lauki halwa also has to be stirred continuously. So some handwork and attention is needed. Making this sweet takes time, so make it when cooking something else in the kitchen.
There are two ways of making lauki halwa. Either cook lauki directly in milk or saute lauki first in some ghee and then cook in the milk. I have sauteed the lauki in ghee first and then cooked it in milk.
This lauki halwa recipe does not need any addition of khoya or mawa. In the process of cooking lauki with milk, the milk begins to evaporate and reduce, so you don’t need to add mawa or khoya.
This method of making halwa with milk takes a little longer, but is handy when you do not have ready khoya at home. I make both carrot halwa and Beetroot Halwa at home with this method.
Since winters have arrived, what better way to warm yourself up by having a nice bowl of hot or warm lauki ka halwa.
How to make Lauki ka Halwa
1. Firstly rinse, peel and grate 300 grams lauki. Before grating taste the lauki. If it tastes sour or bitter then discard and do not cook it. You will need 2 cups tightly packed grated lauki.
2. Heat 4 tablespoons ghee in a heavy pan or kadai on medium-low to medium flame. Use a large kadai so that milk does not spill outside when cooking halwa.
3. Add the grated lauki.
4. Mix grated lauki very well with the ghee with a spoon or spatula.
5. On a low to medium-low flame begin to saute the lauki. Stir often when sauteing lauki.
6. Saute lauki till the moisture dries.
7. Then add 2 cups full-fat or whole milk.
8. Mix very well.
9. Continue to cook on a low to medium-low flame till the milk comes to a boil. In between do stir at times.
10. The milk will start boiling. At this step be attentive and keep on stirring, so that the milk does not spill from the pan. Regulate the heat as needed.
11. Stirring often continue to cook.
12. Cook till ¾ or 75% of the milk has reduced and absorbed.
13. Add 7 to 8 tablespoons sugar or as per your taste buds and mix well.
14. Next add 3 tablespoons chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews) and ½ to 1 teaspoon cardamom powder.
You can even add 2 to 3 teaspoons of rose water or kewra water (pandanus water) if you want.
15. Mix very well.
16. Stirring often cook till the halwa mixture starts coming together and thickens.
17. The dudhi halwa will gradually thicken and you will see some ghee being released from the sides. There should not be any liquid in the halwa.
18. Then switch off the heat and add 1 tablespoon golden raisins. Adding raisins is optional.
19. Mix very well.
20. Garnish with some chopped nuts and serve lauki ka halwa hot or warm. Refrigerate remaining halwa in a covered container. The halwa stays good for a couple of days in the refrigerator.
Expert Tips to make Best Lauki Halwa
1. One issue which happens when making lauki halwa is that the milk gets curdled. To stop preventing the milk from getting curdled, use full cream milk or full-fat milk. Do not use low-fat milk or skimmed milk. Make sure the milk is fresh and in its shelf period. You can even use pasteurized milk or homogenised milk.
2. Use lauki which has a neutral taste. It can be bland, but should not be sour or bitter. A sour or tangy-tasting bottle gourd will also curdle the milk. Always avoid lauki which tastes bitter as it is poisonous and dangerous for the body.
3. If in case the milk gets curdled, then no need to panic. Continue to cook the halwa on a medium to medium-high flame so that the water or whey evaporates. Cooking this way will eventually cook the lauki, thicken the halwa and you will get coagulated milk solids aka tiny paneer granules in the halwa and this halwa tastes good too.
4. Simmer and cook lauki halwa on a low to medium-low flame. Stir often when cooking halwa so that the halwa does not stick or get browned from the base.
5. Use a heavy kadai or pan, so that the halwa gets cooked uniformly and do not brown or burn from the bottom.
Few more sweets recipes for you!
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Lauki ka Halwa | Dudhi Halwa
- 4 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter)
- 2 cups tightly packed grated lauki or 300 grams lauki (bottle gourd or opo squash or dudhi)
- 2 cups whole milk – milk can be pasteurized or boiled before and can be used at room temperature or chilled
- 7 to 8 tablespoons sugar or add as required
- 5 to 6 green cardamoms – powdered or crushed or ½ to 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped nuts – almonds, cashews or pistachios
- 1 tablespoons raisins – optional
Grating Bottle Gourd
- Firstly rinse, peel and grate the lauki. Before grating taste the lauki. If it tastes sour or bitter then discard and do not cook it.
- You will need 2 cups tightly packed grated lauki.
Making lauki halwa
- Heat ghee in a heavy pan or kadai on medium-low to medium flame. Use a large kadai so that milk does not spill outside.
- Add the grated lauki. Mix grated lauki very well with the ghee.
- On a low to medium-low flame begin to saute the lauki. Stir often when sauteing lauki.
- Saute lauki till the moisture dries. Then add whole milk and mix very well.
- Continue to cook on a low to medium-low flame till the milk comes to a boil. In between do stir at times.
- The milk will start boiling. At this step be attentive and keep on stirring, so that the milk does not spill from the pan.
- Stirring often continue to cook till ¾ or 75% of the milk has reduced and absorbed.
- Add sugar and chopped nuts. Mix very well. You can even add 2 to 3 teaspoons of rose water or kewra water (pandanus water) if you want at this step.
- Stirring often cook till the halwa mixture starts coming together and thickens.
- The halwa will gradually thicken and you will see some ghee being released from the sides. There should not be any liquid in the dudhi halwa.
- Then switch off the heat and add golden raisins. Adding raisins is optional. Mix very well.
- Garnish with some chopped nuts and serve lauki halwa hot or warm. Refrigerate remaining halwa. It stays good for a couple of days in the refrigerator.
- Use lauki which has a neutral taste. It can be bland, but should not be sour or bitter. Always avoid lauki which tastes bitter as it is poisonous and dangerous for the body.
- Avoid using skimmed milk or toned milk as they may curdle.
- Use only full-fat milk or whole milk.
- In case the milk splits, then continue to cook on a medium to medium-high flame stirring often, till most of the whey evaporates. Then add ghee, sugar and continue to cook on medium-low flame till all the halwa thickens and some ghee is released from the sides of the halwa.
- Sugar can be added less or more as per taste.
- A few saffron strands can also be added.
- You can add your choice of dry fruits and nuts.
- You can add more ghee if you want.
- The recipe can be halved, doubled or tripled.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Lauki Halwa recipe post from the blog archives (first published in November 2011) has been updated and republished on 2nd July 2021.
Hey Dassana.. I have been following your blog for long. You and your recipes are just awesome. I made this lauki halwa and it turned out to be perfect. The appreciation I got is because of you.
Thanks and keep posting superb recipes
Welcome Mallika. Glad to know that everyone liked lauki halwa recipe. Thanks for your kind words and positive feedback.
Can we add jaggery instead of sugar
with jaggery, the milk can curdle.
Should I throw away the halwa as the milk has split or can I eat it
avoid eating. it can use stomach troubles.
Your recipes have been so helpful and specially for someone like me who is newly wed and wants to impress the in laws ????. Thank you and hope to see more of your recipes ????
Welcome Avinash. Glad to know that recipes are helping you.
When I make halwa, my milk curdles. Can you please tell me the reason and the way to avoid it?
use fresh and full fat milk. milk can be at room temperature or chilled.
I tried making dudhi ka halwa by adding ghee first then saute shreeded dudhi then added milk but milk spilled …it has happened twice plz help in finding the reason
i make both lauki kheer and lauki halwa. never the milk has got split. one reason can that the milk is not fresh enough. and second reason could be that the lauki is not yet ripe. hope this helps.
Hi, all your recipes are very easy to make and the snaps you upload were very helpful. Thanks, keep posting new recipes.
pleased to know this thank you ashwini 🙂 glad our food pics would help you.will keep posting new recipes.
Hii today i tried the besan laddu recipe n i wnt to thank u bcz m 0 in cooking but when i served the dish to my cousins they are so impressed wid me nd all the credit goes to u…thanx nd plz keep sharing more recipies ☺
glad to know this thankyou surya for your positive feedback 🙂
I just love your recipes…they are so helpful and especially the images….I get appreciated as I cook new recipes shared by you….hats off to you…share some brocolli recipes…please..
thanks shifali. nice to know that whatever you make from the blog, gets appreciated. the pics do help, but finally its you doing the cooking and i must commend you for that 🙂
i will add broccoli recipes soon.
ur recipes are awesome. I always in search of simple recipe which u have
m zero in cooking.
but u do a great job .
thankyou alia pleased to know this and you are always welcome 🙂
Can we use condensed milk instead of milk, if yes is it required to add sugar then?
you can use condensed milk. no need to add sugar then.
Your recipes are a great help…
I noticed most of the vrat recipes don’t have pics to show the method… the pics are really helpful.
thanks nidhi. yes some of the vrat recipes do not have stepwise pics. usually initially for difficult recipes, i would add step wise pics. but later i started adding for all. i will update these recipes too one by one with step wise pics.
Lovely recipe. Can I add condensed milk instead of sugar.
thanks. yes you can add condensed milk instead of sugar.
Thanks for finally writing about lauki halwa or dudhi halwa recipe, how to make lauki halwa recipe loved it!
teena thankyou 🙂 and you are welcome.
Thanks for d recipe. I was searchng for ths simple idea frm a long time. Thanks again.
Hi dasana I made this halwa yesterday the dudhi I used was from our garden it came out great thanks only thing was I added 3tbsp of desi ghee and it became a bit oily nonetheless it was fan to taste and eat thanks!!!!!! God bles
welcome arusha. glad to know this. whats better than home grown vegetables. thanks for sharing your positive feedback.
Ur such a gr8 chef.. I tried this recipe so easy simple and turned out in a delicious sweet dish. I hv also tried ur other recipes spcily veg birayani… Wow.. So good. Just luv ur blog.. site and u too… keep posting..
thanks shalini for your kind words and positive feedback on recipes.
Super halwa sir can know frm Wich state u r….
thanks for the wonderful recipe. I tried lauki halwa for the first time n it turned out to be great for a first timer like me. Never knew making lauki halwa was that easy.. thanks so much.. my family loved it.. m happy 🙂 I just love making simple yet healthy recipes for my family.. would surely like to try ur other recipes.. thanks again
welcome prachi. good to know your experience. thanks for sharing positive feedback on halwa.
Just yummy lovely .i wish to add kesar
thanks sufia. yes you can add kesar.
This recipe was just wayyyy tooo goodd….thank yu so much.. it was simple and easy to follow..and infact al other recipes have also turned ou t gr8 wen I tried.,, thNks again…
Sweet, yummy recipe Thanks
hi Dessana didi
i am a teenager and learning cooking. i just tried lauki halwa and kheer as per your recipe and they were awesome. Thanks a lot for such a helpful and lovely blog.
it’s very helpful for people like me.
welcome katya. glad to know that you liked the blog. do visit often and share your feedback. any query then do ask.
Thanks for a lovely blog. Your recipes are extremely good and easy to make. I always try your recipes and they turn out to be fab.
Thanks again and please keep writing. You are a life saver for people like me 🙂
thanks garima for this motivating comment. such comments really makes a difference and motivate me.
Thanks for the wonderful and easy recipe 🙂 I tried this halwa for the first time and turned out absolutely yumm 🙂
thanks for the feedback prachi.
Please check your image on Priya Rao’s blog. Ignore my message if it is taken with your approval. I am trying to get one of my image off from her blog but she is ignoring my messages.
thanks usha. i know about this blogger using some of my pics. my jaw dropped when i saw it in in the google search and was disappointed to see this. i have not contacted her so far as i felt that it is not going to be of any use and a waste of time. you have not mentioned your blog url. i would have visited your blog 🙂
I have tried various recipes from your blog and everytime its been a super duper hit but i would like to share my experience about this halwa.
I wanted to make this halwa but was a bit scared as how it would turn out but finally I made it yesterday for some guests coming over and Dassana every body was in praises and especially my husband who wanted more of it but unfortunately its was all over. It turned out extremely delicious and was healthy coz very little ghee i used and everybody wanted the recipe.
Thank you so much dassana. I can thank you for my whole life.Thanks once again
But just one query, while grating the halwa, should i sqeeze out the water and only put the lauki coz i had put it along with the water so it took me one hour.
nice to know sunita that the lauki halwa was a super duper hit with your family and guests.
when i make this halwa, i do not squeeze out the water. i just add the grated lauki with the milk and let it cook with the milk. it does take a lot of time approx 45 minutes to 1 hour when cooked on a low flame. you can cook it faster on a medium to high flame, but then you have to continuously watch over it. i prefer slow cooking method as i can do other things at the same time with an occasional stirring to the halwa.
you can also microwave the lauki halwa and the halwa will be done in less than 15 minutes. but remember to use a deep microwave safe bowl so that the frothing milk does not spill out.
another method to make the halwa is too saute the lauki in ghee first and then add milk or khoya and sugar. with this method, the texture and taste of the halwa will be a little different from this one. but this method of making lauki halwa will be a quicker one.
thanks dear for so much of gratitude and appreciation. i really feel good at heart.
Thanks for the quick reply but i think no gain without gain, thats why my halwa was so loved and the credit goes to you only, thanks again and always keep posting lovely recipes with tasty pictures so that the hardest of recipes looks easier as you do.
take care and today will be my day of making aloo bature and punjabi chol and am confident that with yr step instuctions it will come out double duper hit.
thanks sunita for the taking the time out to comment on the recipes you have tried.
I remember i have this during Diwali when we lived in Goa-india, yum
What in the world is bottle gourd? I don’t know it by its Indian name either, so I am stumped. Is it something native to India?
sharyn, i just found out through wikipedia that bottle gourd is also known as calabash. its not only found in india but other countries too. here is what wikipedia has to say about calabash.
its light green in color with white flesh inside with seeds. the taste of bottle gourd is bland. its known for its healing properties. but recently i came to know that if the bottle gourd tastes bitter, than one should avoid it as it can be toxic to the body.