If one has to describe India, in few words, it can be stated as a land of festivals and food. So if you get an opportunity to have a look at a Hindu Calendar, don’t be surprised if you see a majority of dates highlighted in Bold and red color (That’s how a date bearing any sort of significance is highlighted).
Besides the fun and frolic associated with these festivities, another much important factor in these events is food. Food and festivals are interlinked to such an extent that differentiating one from another becomes difficult. So When you overhear someone having a conversation interspersed with words ‘Til-Ladoo’, ‘Tahari’, ‘Matar’, ‘Urad Dal’, you begin to sense that the conversation must be based on festivities of ‘Makar-Sankranti’.
Every changing season brings in slew of different festivals and in turn lot of delicacies. Makar-Sankranti, Lohri signifies the joy of harvesting season and the sweet-meats made from peanuts, sesame seeds and jaggery served during these colder months as it helps us keep warm and as per Ayurveda principles sesame seeds helps regulate Vata and Kapha. Likewise, the holy month of Shravan is typically practiced in Hinduism by abstaining from non-vegetarian meal which is in line with what is preached in Ayurveda.
Similarly post Diwali, marks the commencement of “Hemant“ ritu (Hemant=fall ritu=season) in Hindu calendar. There are 2 months Margashirsha and Pausha in this ritu. During these months, climate is perhaps the most pleasant pan India (16-25 degree Celsius). With every passing days as the temperature drops, our craving for calorie rich food increases and calorie rich ladoos laden with ghee are favored in most households. Why if you wonder, Ghee is consumed in increased proportion during these months, the answer lies again in the conventional knowledge of Indian Ayurveda. The Jatharagni (digestive fire) in human body is well ignited and can digest calorie rich food with ease, which is not advisable to consume in other seasons. Our body can store the surplus energy and use it during other seasons. So food like Ghee, nuts, seeds, jaggery, wheat and ginger must be consumed during this season.
I can recall, during winters my mother making Gajar Halwa (Carrot Halwa) frequently in this month of Margashirsha, especially for 2 reasons: first the carrots being available in abundance and other this being the auspicious month of Mahalakhsmi Vrat. As a Prasad for Goddess Lakshmi ghee rich Halwa would be made and relished by all of us. Sometime as a variation she would replace Carrots with Bottle Gourd to make Lauki Ka Halwa.
We have already posted the recipe of delicious Gajar Halwa on this site. This being the holy month of Margashirsha, we are sharing the recipe of Lauki Ka Halwa which is an equally popular delicacy. It’s good to have recipe in your repertoire, if you are limited with the ideas of including bottle gourd in your weekly menu. You will be amazed how this otherwise bland veggie can be so delicious when served in form of a Halwa.
Prepare this dessert for your family and share your feedback with us in the comment section below. You can also let us know about your favorite dessert in the comments below.
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- 1 Kg Bottle Gourd (Lauki)
- 250 Gms Sugar
- 250 Gms Khoa
- Clarified Butter (Ghee)
- 250 ml Milk
- 1 tbsp Raisins (Khismish)
- 1 tbsp Melon Seeds
- 5-6 Almonds (sliced into lengths)
- 5-6 Cashews Nuts (chopped)
- 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
- Clean and Wash Bottle Gourd. We will Peel off the skin and grate the Gourds
- Put Grated Gourd in a pan. Add Milk and place Bottle Gourd on heat. Cover and Cook the grated Gourd on low heat.
- After 45 mins, Gourd gets cooked and water gets reduced. We will continue to cook uncovered.
- Meanwhile, we will roast Khoa. In another pan, put Khoa. Roast until it becomes light brown in color (Watch our YouTube Video on "How to make Khoa" and make delicious Khoa at home )
- After 5-6 mins, remove Khoa from the pan. Let's check on grated gourd.
- Water has reduced completely. Remove cooked Gourd from the pan
- Add 3-4 tbsp Ghee in a pan and add cooked gourd. After 4 mins of cooking, add sugar and stir until sugar melts completely.
- In another pan, melt 1-2 tbsp Ghee. We will roast all nuts and raisins. Add Cashew, Almond, Melon seeds and roast only until nuts become light brown in color. Now add raisins and roast until Raisins get puffed.
- Sugar has melted completely but we will cook until mositure evaporates entirely. When Sugar syrup has mixed well with Halwa, add roasted Khoa and mix well. Add nuts and raisins and mix well. Finally add Now add cardamom powder
- Switch off the heat. Lauki ka Halwa is ready
Click here to watch recipe video