A Pakistani dessert made with bottlegourd and pepped up with sago seeds…
While working on my posts for the Blogging Marathon #122 theme of “Sweets with Fruits or Vegetables”, after making one with banana and another one with chickoo, I obviously wanted to make something with a vegetable. Even though vegetables are not known to be a part of dessert usually, we all love our gajar ka halwa or chukandar halwa. One of our favorites were these potato jamuns that didn’t even show any trace of the potatoes. I have also tried making halwa with zucchini and it was so delicious, that it used to be a part of my diet plan as well, not mentioning about the moist bakes that vegetable can give, just like this chocolate one.
But I have been wanting to try making lauki ka halwa since time immemorial. I always have lauki in my fridge because my girls love this side and it appears on our lunch table at least once a week. When this theme was declared, I kept aside a peice so that I could make the halwa. Before making it, one night, I ordered a meal from a Pakistani restaurant through Zomato and included this halwa from their menu. What came in a small bowl was the creamiest dessert I have ever eaten. I am usually someone who finds fault with desserts from out, but this lauki halwa was amazing. It was really creamy with strips of lauki and plump sago balls studded through the dessert. I used that halwa as a benchmark for myself to make this dessert.
I wouldn’t say that my pudding turned out like how I had eaten it but it was delicious in its own way. The bottlegourd is first grated and squeezed on any additonal water. I used my food processor to grate the lauki. I sauteed it up in ghee for some minutes before adding the milk and condensed milk along with the sago and cooking it till th sago is all plumped up and the milk thickens. I have added only cardamom and rose water for flavor but next time, I would love to add some kewra essence and/or saffron too, even though I had both in my pantry. Doesn’t it happen that the head gives ideas a long time later? 😀
Just like most of the desserts, it thickens as it sits, so make sure to leave enough liquid in your kheer. I actually wanted to add some cream at the end of the whole process, but didn’t want to add any extra calories. Unlike me, if you are in a mood to add, then go ahead and do so. Off to this super simple recipe…
Lauki Kheer ~ Bottlegourd Pudding
- 2 cups grated bottle gourd
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 500 ml milk
- 1/4 cup condensed milk
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- 3 tbsp sago seeds
- 1 tsp rosewater
- Crushed nuts for garnish
- Squeeze out the excess water from the bottlegourd if it is watery.
- Soak the sago seeds in boiling water for 15 minutes.
- Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Saute the grated bottlegourd till it looks crisp.
- Add the milk and condensed milk along with the cardamom and salt and bring to boil.
- Drain the sago and add into the mixture. Cook on low flame, stirring occassionally and scraping the sides.
- Switch off once the mixture is thickened and the sago is transparent.
- Add the rosewater and nuts as needed and enjoy warm or cold.