Saturday, September 13, 2014

Bottle Gourd Halwa

Bottle Gourd Halwa also called Lauki ka halwa or Dudhi halwa is a lip smacking traditional Indian dessert. This is a simple and easy recipe which does not take more than 20 minutes to prepare.

First of all, this recipe is almost oil-free! yes, you heard me right. You will not require ghee/butter/oil to make this halwa. (except for frying the nuts and raisins) As usual, I was looking for a low calorie dessert for this weekend. While grocery shopping, I surprisingly stumbled upon Bottle gourds and was quite happy about it. My mom makes the best halwa with loads of ghee, jaggery and a whole lot of nus and raisins. She also adds roasted poppy seeds for that heavenly halwa. Making that similar halwa means consuming thousands of calories in one go and I was not ready to take that chance.

You may wonder why I think so much about calories all the time. It's just that, living here in Norway has changed our eating habits a lot. Making a pizza or a burger or even a potato looks so much easier than making an Indian meal from scratch. Weather is quite cold (getting colder each day) and junk food has never been more tempting. It is not always about putting on weight, it is about being healthy too. So, keeping a tab on calories may help us to keep track of how much junk we have eaten. Anyway, I made halwa anyway, but modified it as per my "Calorie choice"and it turned out to be amazingly tasty. I am definitely going to make it again soon!

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  114 Calories
Fat 6 %
Carbohydrates 0 %
Dietary Fiber 0 %
Sodium 0 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium  12 %
Iron  0 %
Protein 4 Grams
Sugar 10 Grams

Bottle gourd 1 big
Milk 1 cup (250 ml)
Grated jaggery/Brown sugar 1/2 cup or more (as per your taste)
Vanilla essence 2 drops
Oil/Ghee 1 teaspoon
Nuts and raisins Quantity of your choice

* Wash, peel and grate the bottle gourd. Do not throw the peel. You can make delicious chutney using bottle gourd peels.
* Cover and cook grated bottle gourd in milk till it turns soft and is completely cooked. You can pressure cook it if you are in a hurry.
* Add grated jaggery or brown sugar and mix well. The mixture will get dry and may stick to the bottom after a while. So keep stirring under low flame.

* Once the sweet smell of jaggery starts to develop, add vanilla essence and give it a mix. Remove from the flame and keep it covered.
* In a pan, heat oil/ghee and add raisins and nuts. Fry for 2 minutes and add it to the halwa. Stir and serve hot with or without Vanilla ice cream.

* You can add ghee while adding jaggery/sugar. It gives an extra flavor and aroma.
* You can also roast poppy seeds and add to this halwa. My mom adds poppy seeds and it tastes a bit different than this.

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