With the bottle gourds growing in your garden, you have fresh ones at your disposal. This helps you to plan effectively what you can make and plan well ahead. But, sometimes, even without planning you can just pick one, and start cooking when your heart and tummy is craving for somethings. Bottle gourds are 95% water and doesn't have a strong taste. So it is easy to utilize them in sweet as well as savory recipes. Having made a lot of savory ones, wanted to make a dessert, and kheer comes to my mind immediately. The kheer is a very simple yet creamy dessert made by reducing milk and sweetening it. Grains or veggies can also be added to milk to make flavorful varieties. Bottle gourd kheer tasted great like carrot kheer (one of my favorites). I used the thick shredded ones, so that it will retain a little bit of shape after cooking. The addition of almond when reducing milk, makes it a little soft, and the soft bite along with the bottle gourd tastes delicious. In simple words, this simple kheer is one of the greatest tasting kheer. It can be served warm or chilled. In both ways, it is yum, yum, yum!
Serves 4 to 8, depending on the size of servings.
Bottle gourd - 2 cups, shredded
Ghee - 2 tsp
Cardamom - 2, crushed
Milk - 4 cups
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Heat 4 cups milk with 1 tsp ghee. After about 25 min, add 1/4 sliced or chopped almonds. Continue reducing, stir often to prevent scalding in the bottom.
In the meantime, melt 1 tsp ghee in a pan, and add the grated bottle gourd. Saute till it is translucent, about 7 min.
When the milk has reduced to 2 cups (takes about 35-40 min), add the crushed cardamom, cooked bottle gourd, sugar, and simmer for 3-4 min.
Garnish with some pistachio or sliced almonds.
Serve warm or cold.