Dudhi Halwa is a popular Indian dessert made with grated bottle gourd also known as lauki. It is perfectly sweetened, creamy pudding laced with cardamom or vanilla a new twist in this recipe.
Dudhi Halwa is my Mom’s all-time special dessert! I have so many memories of this dish. She made this more frequently than any other dessert. Sometimes she layered it over her special carrot halwa making it a heavenly treat to have 2 halwa’s at once. Adding a bit of vanilla is her creative twist that makes this dessert very refreshing. If you like the more traditional version, you may add cardamom powder instead of vanilla.
What is Dudhi?
Dudhi or Lauki is a large gourd that is tender and juicy with 92% water content. This mild and versatile vegetable is a rich source of vitamins, calcium and minerals.
After peeling the outer covering the easiest way to grate it is using a food processor. Grating by the way is about the most time consuming process in this recipe.
How to pick a perfect Dudhi / Lauki?
Lauki is available in Indian grocery stores as well as other asian markets. Look for a relatively skinny dudhi with light green skin that is not bruised.
How to grate Dudhi?
Peel the Dudhi and then cut into half in the middle. Then cut each half into 4 long wedges, this makes grating large dudhi easier.
If the dudhi is tender and fresh the inside will not have as many seeds and the white part will be firm. If you find that the seeds are larger or the white part is soft, you can cut the white part along with the seeds and discard.
Once the Dudhi is grated, this Instant Pot dessert is ready in under 15 minutes!
To make the dudhi halwa vegan/dairy free:
- replace ghee with neutral cooking oil or vegan butter
- substitute low fat milk with nut milk, like almond milk
- use non fat dry milk powder instead of almond meal
Other variations for dudhi halwa:
- Use ricotta cheese or khoya instead of dry milk powder. This will make the halwa more creamy.
- Stir in 1-2 drops of plant based green food color along with the vanilla for a pretty green halwa.
- For a nut free dudhi halwa, simply skip the garnish of nuts and the halwa will still be as delicious.
Do you enjoy Indian desserts? Here are some of my personal favorites.
- Carrot Halwa, A quick and easy Instant Pot recipe
- Creamy Rice Kheer in the Instant Pot
- Rava Coconut Ladoo, traditional maharashtrian dessert made for Diwali
- Saranachi Puri, anotehr one of mom’s signature dessert
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- 2 tablespoon ghee or any cooking oil
- 4 cups packed Dudhi grated
- 1 cup low fat milk divided (or almond milk)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup non-fat dry milk powder or almond meal
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon sliced almonds for garnish optional
- Set the Instant Pot to saute(normal) mode and heat ghee. Add grated dudhi and sauté for a minute. Add 1/2 cup of low fat milk. Close Instant Pot with Pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 2 mins followed by Quick Release (Natural Pressure Release works too).
- Set the Instant Pot to Saute(normal) mode. Mix the milk powder in remaining half cup of milk and add it to the Instant Pot.
- Add sugar and cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently until most of the liquids evaporate and the halwa thickens. If the halwa starts to splutter set the Instant Pot to Saute(Less) mode and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in Vanilla, mix well and turn the Instant Pot off. Halwa will thicken further as it cools down. Garnish with sliced almonds. Enjoy warm or chilled.
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Hey there! I am a techie turned recipe developer, cooking instructor, and food blogger. I love food and enjoy developing easy and healthy recipes for busy lifestyles. I live in New Jersey with my husband and two sons.