Bottle gourd, commonly known as sorekayi in kannada, belongs to the cucumber family and is rich in fiber and water content. It is usually consumed either in the form of majjige huli (buttermilk-coconut gravy) or as halwa. This halwa recipe uses very little ghee (clarified butter) and yields halwa that is mildly sweet. Feel free to increase the amounts of either or both of the ingredients depending on your taste buds.
Bottle Gourd (Sorekayi) Halwa
Preparation time: 15 minutes if using a food processor, else 45 minutes
Cooking time: 1.5 hours
2 medium sized bottle gourd, peeled and grated
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp + 1 tsp ghee
5 strands of saffron, crushed
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1 tbsp cashew (optional)
Heat 1 tsp ghee in a large wok or kadhai and roast cashews until they turn golden. Set the roasted cashews aside.
Transfer grated bottle gourd (about 5.5 cups) into the same wok, add milk and cook in medium flames until all the liquid evaporates. Now add sugar, mix well and continue cooking. When sugar melts, add crushed saffron strands and mix well. Continue cooking until the mixture dries up. Add 2 tbsp ghee and keep mixing until the mixture starts leaving the pan.
Sprinkle cardamom powder and roasted cashews and mix well. Turn off heat. Serve hot, warm or cold.