Deliciously decadent kheer laced with cardamom and saffron and the goodness of lauki / bottle gourd, that you can feel a little less guilty of indulging in more than one serving.
There are so many of these recipes that I had even heard of, let alone tried and tasted them before I got into the world of food blogging. I come across something that is new to me and I go asking for a recipe, be it neighbors, friends or look up in my collection of cookbooks or even the internet.
This lauki kheer is one such recipe. Lauki or bottle gourd is not a vegetable that is quite commonly used in Southern India, which is where I grew up and spent most of my life. But I have started to love this vegetable and Lauki Chana Dal is a dal curry that I make quite often after having once tasted it and loved it at a friends house for dinner.
Lauki kheer is yet another story. I was quite intrigued when I heard that a dessert could be made with this vegetable. But knowing the taste and texture of this vegetable, I could see how this would work. Lauki Kheer is also called Doodhi Kheer or Ghiya Ki Kheer – those are just other names for bottle gourd.
I tried to read up about this recipe, and as always there are several versions to making this recipe. A popular one was cooking the grated lauki in water and then adding to the milk mix and another one I saw was to just add it. I didn’t what to go with the first method as it did not call out to me. The second one felt like I was taking too much of a chance just putting a raw vegetable into a dessert.
So I decided to fry the grated lauki in ghee till it became soft and I then proceeded to make the kheer out of it. Frying in ghee is something we do quite a bit in a lot of traditional Kerala style payasams like the kadala pradhaman or ethapazham payasam. So I thought that should work for this too. And it did!
I used evaporated milk for this recipe as a shortcut to get that gorgeous deep color that is slightly pink, that you get from reducing the milk down. It worked really well and I hope you will love it as well.Print Recipe
- Heat the ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and add the grated lauki to it. Saute for about 5 minutes till the lauki starts to soften up a little.
- Now add the evaporated milk and let it come to a boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Add the sugar to this and mix well to let it dissolve. Add the cardamom and saffron and simmer for a few more minutes.
- Remove from heat and garnish with the pistachios and sliced almonds. Serve warm or cold.