Lauki halwa is a delicious Indian dessert that is flavored traditionally with cardamom. Lauki is also known as bottle gourd/dudhi/opu/sorekay is a watery vegetable. Cooking this veggie even after squeezing out extra water will take a long time and needs constant stirring while the dish is cooking. I like my halwa not very wet and also have caramelized chunks. Lauki halwa was the result of finding a box of ricotta cheese (had to use up soon), when cleaning my fridge. Given that I wanted to skip long hours of stirring, I choose to make it in a simple 2 step process, first mix all ingredients and bake, then cook on stove top for another 10 mins to get the caramelized chunks. These steps worked really well, easy to make, uses less ghee still very delicious.
grated lauki 1 1/2 cup
ricotta cheese 1 cup
sugar 3/4 cup
cashew nut pieces 1 tbsp
fine rava 1 1/2 tbsp
cardamom powder 1/8 tsp
saffron strands 4-5
ghee 4 teaspoons
Remove the skin of lauki/opu/dudhi/sorekay, slit in half length wise, remove the white part along with seeds and then grate.
mixing and getting the baking dish ready
Take the grated lauki, squeeze out the water then measure 1 1/2 cups of lauki, to use in the recipe.
Mix grated lauki, ricotta cheese, sugar, cashew nut pieces, fine rava, cardamom powder, and saffron strands.
Transfer the mixture to a greased baking safe dish, spread in a slightly thin layer (it should be about 1 inch height in the bowl) and drizzle ghee on top.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (for 10 mins), place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 35-40 mins or till some golden spots are formed on the top.
cook on stove top
Transfer the contents into a wide pan, cook it on the stove top using low to medium flame till caramelized chunks are formed (can add another 2-3 tsp of ghee, if the mixture looks very dry).
Garnish and Serve
Garnish with some chopped almonds(optional) and serve.