Halwa is basically a sweet dish made either from grains, flours, vegetables or fruits along with milk or condensed milk and sugar as its main ingredients.
I was introduced to the Lauki ka halwa / Doodhi ka halwa ... after I got married. Before that I had no idea what else could be done with the humble lauki other than a curry / torkari or a raita. In fact I wasn't even interested in the vegetable ... and if it was made with shrimps, just picked out the shrimps from the dish and left it alone.
But later I was introduced to North Indian cuisine ... mainly Rajasthani cuisine. And Rajasthanis are known for their love for sweets as much as their love for savoury and deep fried things.
So there I was, just married, ... a Bengali who did not care for sweets at all ... having jalebis for breakfast, halwas at lunch and kheer at dinner.
I can't say if I had more sweets or more savouries then ... all kinds of kachoris and namkeen ... just to get rid of all that sweetness in my throat.
Anyway ... now I know how to make sweet dishes at home.
So when the call from home came on Holi , the question had to come too ... " So what did you make for Holi?"
We were having a very busy time during Holi ... in fact had almost forgotten about it ... leave alone to go the kitchen and cook up sweets.
I had glanced around ... body language you know ... when you are about to fib :-p .... and saw a lauki in the vegetable bowl .... so blurted out "Lauki ka Halwa".
There was a sound of smile in the further conversations and I was relieved.
So set about making the halwa ... can't stay a liar for long. :-)
I make this halwa like the way I make Gajar / Carrot ka Halwa. The best part is the Lauki does not take as much time to cook as the gajar ... so this is quicker ... well ... just a little quicker.
Lauki / Bottle gourd - 1 medium sized
Milk - around 2 cups ( whole cream milk works best ... but you can use skimmed milk too )
Sugar - around 10 tbsp ( you might need more ... depends on the amount of lauki ... so taste to adjust)
Elaichi / Green Cardamom - 2 whole and 3 powdered
Saffron - a few strands ( optional )
Ghee / Clarified butter - around 1 tbsp ( just enough to toss the lauki in )
Cashewnuts - as per your wish ... whole or broken
How to :
Heat the ghee in a deep pan or a wok / kadahi ... preferably non stick. Stir fry the cashewnuts for a while .... do not brown ... and remove.
In the same ghee, let in the whole elaichi. Then add the grated lauki and stir well.
( You can add a pinch or .... less than ... a pinch of salt ...actually very, very little ... so that the water drains out and the lauki cooks quickly).
Add the milk and let it boil. Remember to keep stirring to avoid it getting burnt at the bottom.
When the lauki is well done and the halwa turns thickish, add the cashewnuts, sugar and the elaichi powder.
It will release water. Let it cook till it has dried up well .... make sure the sides do not burn.
Serve hot or cold.
Enjoy !! :-)
Blogspot is acting crazy ... shows one comment waiting to be moderated ... and yet refuses to display it. This has been going on for the past two days and is driving me bonkers. :-(
Hope this does not go on for long.
Other Halwas on Kichu Khon