This is one halwa or pudding (as you like to call it) which will definitely surprise you, if you are not familiar with it.
Many years back, when I was not much into cooking and all, I got a chance to taste it at my friend’s place. It was light pink in color, which was quiet unusual and taste exactly like carrot (gajar ka halwa) halwa. Later I came to know that it was doodhi / lauki / bottlegourd halwa, with an artificial color so that it resembles like carrot halwa. I felt cheated, fumed at the mere thought of it and decided to dissolve our friendship for ever. But I stepped back, and she is still my friend. Now, it became a joke between us.
Years later, I had this unusual halwa again and this time it was in its true light green color but little mushy though. I never thought of trying it myself, until that fateful day when I had it again at Brijwasi in Haridwar. It was superb, glistening with silver leaf (chandi ka warq), drops of pure ghee was oozing out of it and its light green color was highly appealing. In short I was bowled over by this delicious doodhi ka halwa.
Doodhi / lauki / bottle gourd : 1kg
Full fat milk : 500ml
Dry fruits (almonds / cashews / raisins) : 1 cup
Milk solids / khova : 1/2 cup
Sugar: 1 1/2 cup
Ghee (Indian clarified butter): 4 tbsp
Bay leaf: two
Peel the doodhi / gourd, discard the seeds and grate it. Wash it thouroughly, squueze the excess water out of it and keep it in colander for 2- 3 hours to dry it completely.
Procedure to make doodhi ka halwa is exactly same like carrot / gajar ka halwa and only difference is that the gourd releases some juices which does not goes very well with milk. It acquire some light bitterness in taste.
So what works best for me, is that to drain the water completely from it and then use directly in milk.
Another point to note, is that unlike carrot which is quite stiff, gourd is very soft, so if you boiled the gourd in milk for long, it will become mushy. To get a crunchy (partly) texture (like carrot halwa), best is to thickened the milk to its 1/4 th quantity and then mix with doodhi.
Heat 500 ml of milk in a deep bottomed vessel. As the milk starts boiling (reduce the milk to its 1/4th measure) add the grated doodhi / gourd and stir it continuously on a low-medium flame. Stirring it continuously until the last drop of milk get absorbed by the doodhi / gourd. Keep it aside.
Heat 3 tablespoon of ghee in a non-stick frying pan and add bay leaves, cloves and cardamoms. As the aroma starts coming add the doodhi / gourd and fry it for few minutes.
Next add the sugar (you can cut the sugar part if you are using condensed milk), milk solids or khova to it, and stir it continuously on a medium flame until it mixes well.
Sprinkle a tablespoon of ghee on the doodhi ka halwa and garnish with the dry fruits.
Serve the doodhi ka halwa warm in a bowl or cut it into squares and spread the silver leaf over it.
Verdict: It was good, in fact very good as everybody liked it in my family, almonds and cashews gives it a richer taste and flavour of pure ghee was drifting all around the house.
Sharing this yummy gourd pudding / doodhi halwa with the event: MMK Indian mithai mela by Kalyani.
See the original recipe here: Pumpkin Halwa
If you like this recipe then please consider sharing it and do not forget to send me your feedbacks.