Bottle gourd Halwa

Lauki Halwa Arch

Lauki /bottle gourd Halwa

Locally known as “Lauki” (Hindi) or “Sorakkai” (Tamil), this veggie is not that popular in the western world.Found in every kitchen of the Indian household, bottle gourd believed to have originated in Africa, constitutes a major part of food in the Indian cuisine. Like it or not, this gourd has dominated the domestic main course menu for time immemorial.

Hi friends! Try this easy recipe to make  lauki halwa , it is simply delicious!

Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking time : 30 -45 minutes

Servings : 4

Cuisine: Indian ,Maharashtra

Course: Desserts

Level Of Cooking: Easy


  • 500 gms Lauki/Bottle gourd/Ghiya
  • 1/2 litres Milk
  • 1 cup Fresh cream
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 6 Green cardamoms, powdered
  • 9-10 Cashew nuts for garnishing
  • 1 tbsp Poppy seeds/ Khuskhus


Step 1.

Wash and peel the Lauki/Bottle gourd/Ghiya and grate it in a mixing bowl. Keep aside.

Step 2.

Heat milk in a wok/Kadahi/non-stick pan and bring it to boil. Add the grated Lauki and cook till it gets cooked and the mixture starts thickening.

Step 3.

When 80% of the milk evaporates, add sugar and poppy seeds and cook on low flame while stirring continuously, till the sugar dissolves.

Step 4.

Add cream and green cardamom powder to the cooked Lauki and mix it well.

Step 5.

Cook on low flame for another ten minutes or till very well blended. Switch off the stove.

Step 6.

Remove it in a dessert serving bowl and serve hot, warm or cold, garnished with slightly fried or roasted cashew nuts.

Health benefits of Lauki/ Bottle gourd/Ghiya :

What’s making this veggie popular these days is its enormous impact on the treatment of high blood pressure and heart disease. The myriad of health benefits of bottle gourd is least known to many.Bottle gourd is believed to help the liver function in a balanced fashion.

The juice from the leaves help cure jaundice and the juice from the gourd helps reduce graying of hair.

The gourd juice, helps treat burning sensation in the urinary passage if consumed with lime juice.

It reduces fatigue and keeps you fresh, especially during summer.

It helps fight constipation, as it is fiber rich. Because of its fiber and low fat content, Ayurveda highly recommends this food for diabetic patients and young children.

Ayurveda also recommends the juice of this gourd in the treatment of acidity, indigestion and ulcers as it serves as an alkaline mixture.

Indian traditional medicine claims that bottle gourd acts as a nerve tonic and can help improve obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This claim has been confirmed by a study published in the journal Pharmacognosy Research where the investigators found that the plant possesses anti-compulsive (anti-OCD) activity although they are not certain about the mechanism of action of this plant.

Bottle gourd is also considered one of the best weight loss foods since it is 96 percent water and provides just 12 calories per 100g of serving.

It is rich in, thiamin, vitamin C, zinc, iron and magnesium thus helping in improving overall health.

The juice from bottle gourd leaf helps in curing baldness and aids in preventing tooth decay.

So the good old “lauki”, though neglected the most, has both healing and cosmetic benefits that many people are unaware of. These easy growing climbers have made a great impact on the domestic gardening segment as well, due to its enormous health benefits.


Nick’s kitchen medical disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.



Instant Amla Pickle

Amla Pickle

Fresh pack or Quick process Amla/ Indian gooseberry


Fresh pack or quick pickles, are also very popular, as they are very easy to prepare and are ready to eat. Fresh or quick pickles are not fermented, but heated vinegar or oil or salt solutions are poured onto the vegetables.

Indian gooseberry pickle is good Source of antioxidants. Aid in supply of probiotic or gut friendly bacteria. Fresh pickles help in supplying essential vitamins and minerals. Amla or Indian gooseberry pickle aids in digestion and have hepatoprotective properties.

Pickles and Pickling Process:

Pickling is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. Before the invention of modern refrigeration, pickling was the only way to preserve various foods for future consumption. Generally, pickling began as a method to preserve foods that are either exotic or seasonal and limited by nature and cultivation. The process of pickling can be generally traced back to India, as it is believed to have originated about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. With hot summers and a lack of water during summers, food production decreases during the summer. Thus, there is a need to preserve excess food produced during winters and hence, the process of pickling was invented to overcome this problem.

The traditional way of preparing long-lasting pickles in the Oriental style uses ingredients such as salt, oil, and dry chili powder mixed with condiments. These ingredients are added according to set proportions. The proportions are meant to cancel out the other’s effect on taste.

Indian Pickles

In India, unripe fruits such as mangoes, Indian gooseberry, unripe tamarinds, and lemons are traditionally used. Apart from these, various vegetables such as gherkin, bitter gourd, carrots, cauliflower, ginger garlic, onion, jackfruit, and citron are also pickled. In most cases, only one vegetable or unripe fruit is used for pickling. But occasionally, a mix of two or more vegetables or unripe fruits were also made. Generally, pickles made from vegetables and unripe fruits are prepared with the utmost care so that they cannot spoil and be preserved all year long. Non-vegetarian pickles are also popular. These pickles are made from chicken, fish, prawns, and mutton.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time : 10 minutes

Serves:  200 gms pickle

Level : Easy

Course: chutney / pickles

Cuisine: Indian / North Indian


main ingredients:

  • 200 gms amla or gooseberry (small or bigger)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
  • 1 tsp salt/ or as per taste
  • 1 cup Mustard oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, coarsely  powdered
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida/hing


Step 1.

Wash the amla in water. Drain, wipe and keep aside. They should be moisture free.

Step 2.

Keep the Amlas whole, since seeds are very small and take the amlas in a large bowl. Keep aside.

Step 3.

Heat mustard oil on high flame in a wok / kadahi / pan till it starts smoking. Reduce the heat to low flame and add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and allow them to splutter, add asafetida, red chili powder, turmeric powder ,salt and add Amlas . Mix very well .

Step 4.

Cover and cook on low flame, occasionally stirring for 7-8 minutes or till Amlas are slightly golden in colour and very well cooked.

Step 5.

Cool the amla pickle. Store in a glass / porcelain jar.

Step 6.

It is ready to serve with any Indian meals of your choice!


Make sure the pickled Amlas with fresh pack or quick process pickles are consumed with in the week. In cold climates, you can keep outside for 6-7days. In a hot and humid climate, keep in the fridge. It is recommended that the pickle must be prepared fresh every week.

Health benefits of Amla:

The health benefits of pickles include a good supply of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, contributes to modest diabetes control, improved digestion, liver protection, a supply of probiotics, and the ability to heal ulcers.

Free radical scavenging from antioxidants: Pickles can be good source of antioxidants.

Supply of probiotic or gut-friendly bacteria: Probiotic bacteria are those friendly bacteria that are present in our digestive system. These bacteria actually help us in the digestion of food. Sometimes, due to the use of antibiotics, along with invading bacteria, these friendly bacteria are also killed. The fall in their numbers can cause digestive problems that can be solved by eating pickles made without the use of vinegar. Naturally fermented salt pickles encourage the growth of these friendly bacteria, which will replenish the numbers in our digestive system and restore our health.

Pickles in Supply of essential minerals and vitamins: The fresh pickles are interesting and appetizing ways of making children eat their share of leafy vegetables and herbs, which are otherwise boring for children. Eating freshly made pickles not only tastes good, but they also supply essential vitamins such as vitamin C, A, K, folate and minerals like iron, calcium, and potassium. Vitamins and minerals are vital micronutrients which protect us from diseases, help us build immunity, bone strengthening, vision protection, curing anemia, and various other functions.

Diabetes Control: Studies have shown that consuming vinegar based pickles improves hemoglobin levels in diabetic patients, which in turn helps in controlling diabetes. The acetic acid present in vinegar has been noted to be responsible for this phenomenon. However, care must be taken to avoid the consumption of salted pickles as excess salt increases blood pressure.

Improves Digestion: In India, Indian gooseberry or amla (phyllanthus emblica) is one of the favourite fruits that are pickled. This fruit is believed to possess several health benefits according to Ayurveda treatments and moreover, since amla is a seasonal fruit, unripe amla pickles are prepared. It is customary practice in some Indian families to have amla pickle as the first course or an appetizer as it is believed that amla pickle improves digestion.

Liver Protection: Apart from benefits such as improved digestion, amla or gooseberry pickle also has hepatoprotective properties. Studies have shown that when amla extracts were administered on lab animals with chemical-induced hepatotoxicity or liver damage, the damage was reduced significantly.

Reduces Ulcers: Ulcers are internal wounds caused due to a failure of mucus membranes and acid interaction on tissues. Particularly, gastric ulcers are caused by a weakening of mucous membrane and hyperacidity. Regular consumption of amla or Indian gooseberry pickles also help in reducing ulcers, if any.

Care to be taken while eating pickles:

Almost all pickles contain high amount of salt in them. Salt is an indispensible ingredient in most pickles. It not only adds to the taste, but it also helps in preserving the pickle and acts as an anti-microbial, keeping away unwanted bacteria, yeast, and fungi. However, excess salt consumption through pickles can cause problems of its own.

Hypertension is one of the major risks of eating excess salt. Hypertension is known to be one of the major reasons causing strokes and heart attacks, especially in older people. Also, hypertension increases with increased age.

Apart from the risk of hypertension, Indian pickles may contain high quantities of oil, which increases the risk of fat and cholesterol development in our body. Hence, the regular intake of pickles must be reduced and must be limited to only occasional consumption.