Instant Pot Lauki Burfi (or Lauki Halwa)


Lauki burfi just got a million times easier to make…

instant pot lauki burfi

Lauki burfi is an Indian fudge made using bottle gourd, a very popular Indian vegetable. I actually shared a savory lauki recipe on the blog not long ago. Today though, we’re using it in dessert!

My recipe for lauki burfi calls for just a few ingredients: bottle gourd, sugar, powdered milk, ghee and cardamom. This type of fudge typically calls for green food coloring, but we’re topping it with green pistachios instead!

(You can also top with green pumpkin seeds if nut-free! I’ve done this and it’s both pretty and delicious!)

instant pot lauki burfi

The way I make this burfi is a bit unusual but you’re going to have to trust me. I don’t add any water to the instant pot when I make this…

instant pot lauki burfi

but Ashley… what do you mean don’t add water?!

I know… but really, no water. And yes, I also know that’s against instant pot’s rules. But rules are meant to be broken (also: thank goodness my children can’t read yet).

When I first started testing this recipe, I did add water to the pot along with sugar and lauki and even though the recipe was great, it all just took forever to make because I had to boil off a lot of water at the end. I knew I needed to find a faster/easier way before sharing this recipe with you.

I finally realized that lauki releases a lot of water as it cooks and so there’s actually no need for additional water. I’ve made this burfi many times without adding any water and my instant pot hasn’t given me any trouble with coming to pressure. That said, if you find that your pot isn’t coming to pressure then feel free to add a tablespoon or two of water if you must.

instant pot lauki burfi

why should I make this in an instant pot?

Because it’s much easier. This really is the fastest way to make lauki burfi.

Traditionally, this type of burfi takes forever to make. There’s a lot of standing by the stovetop and stirring involved. I just don’t have that kind of patience. That said, there’s still some stirring required – but much less!

By pressure cooking sugar with lauki, we’re simultaneously cooking the lauki while also making a sugar syrup, which (along with ghee and powdered milk) will help hold the burfi together as it cools.

After cooking the lauki and sugar, you just add ghee, milk powder (I like this brand) and cardamom to the pot and stir until all of the liquid dries up. Pour the mixture into a greased pan, top with pista and let it set. Cut into bars and serve!

(This recipe makes 16, 2″x2″, bars. Somehow 4 of the bars went “missing” from this batch before I could photograph them… we have yet to find them. 🤷🏽‍♀️)

instant pot lauki burfi
instant pot lauki burfi

lauki burfi ingredients:

Lauki: You can find bottle gourd at your local Indian grocery store. To prepare lauki, you first need to peel it. And for this recipe, you’ll want to completely remove the spongy middle and all of the seeds. It’ll seem like you’re getting rid of quite a bit of the lauki but don’t worry, you’re doing it right. I use 4 cups of shredded lauki to make this burfi (use a food processor to shred!) which is usually around two small bottle gourds. It’s fine if you use a little more or a little less lauki in the recipe. Just keep in mind that the more lauki you use, the more water you’ll need to boil off at the end.

Sugar: I use organic cane sugar.


Dry Milk Powder: I use this organic dry milk powder but any milk powder will work.

Cardamom: you can use freshly ground or already ground cardamom. I’ve done both and it’s great either way.

Pistachios (or Pumpkin Seeds if nut-free): You don’t have to use pistachios but I love the color and the texture they add. When you buy lauki burfi in stores, it’s always bright green but I don’t like using food coloring. I love the natural green color that pista adds to the burfi. Also, pistachios are (obviously) the tastiest nut ever (cashews are a close second and peanuts are a legume so they’re not part of this made up competition).

can I use less sugar or ghee? what if I want to make lauki halwa?

You can make slight adjustments to this recipe and it’ll turn out fine, however I would not recommend drastically reducing the amount of sugar or ghee in this recipe as they help hold the burfi together.

If you do want to make a “light version” then you’re better off making lauki halwa (pudding). If you make halwa, you can adjust the sugar and ghee to your preference.

To make lauki halwa, just stop after step 4 (see recipe below), garnish with nuts and serve warm in a bowl. You can adjust the sugar and ghee to your taste (or leave it as is).

instant pot lauki burfi

I hope you love this lauki burfi. It’s great any time of the year but I do especially love its festive green color for the holidays! 🎄

instant pot lauki burfi

Instant Pot Lauki Burfi

instant pot lauki burfi

Instant Pot Lauki Burfi

5 from 1 review
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Servings 16 squares


  • 1 cup - 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 4 -5 cups freshly grated lauki peeled and soft middle/seeds removed (anywhere from 500-650 grams)

Add Later:

  • ½ cup ghee
  • 1 cup dry milk powder I use this brand
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ cup chopped pistachios I prefer raw pistachios because they are more green in color than roasted OR ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (if nut-free)


  • Spread the sugar on the bottom of the pot. Spread freshly grated lauki on top of the sugar. Do not mix.
  • Secure lid, close pressure valve and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
  • Quick release pressure.
  • Press sauté and adjust the heat to the highest setting, then add ghee, milk powder and cardamom and mix well. Let the mixture boil for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you are making halwa, you can stop here - otherwise, for burfi continue to the next step.
  • Continue to let it simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring more frequently until the mixture dries and you see some ghee coming out of the sides (the amount of time varies depending on the lauki’s water content).
  • Pour the lauki mixture into a well greased plate/pan (I use an 8x8 glass pan) and sprinkle with chopped pistachios or pumpkin seeds.
  • Let it cool, then put it in the fridge overnight or until set.
  • Slice and serve.


  • I use 2 small/medium lauki to make this and it gives me 4-5 cups of shredded lauki.
  • Lauki burfi typically calls for green food coloring. Instead, I top the burfi with raw green pistachios or green pumpkin seeds to give it a natural green color.
  • I use a food processor to shred the lauki.
  • If you want to make a "lighter version" of this, you can make lauki halwa (pudding) instead. You can do this by adjusting sugar and ghee to taste. Just follow this recipe and stop after step 4, garnish with nuts and serve warm in a bowl.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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instant pot lauki burfi

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Kamala says

    5 stars
    Tried this recipe multiple times and it turned out yummy everytime! I leave it as halwa rather than making it into burfi as I don’t want to keep stirring 😛 Love the taste of this easy recipe. Thanks Ashley!

  2. Greeshma says

    Hi Ashley
    Thanks for sharing this recipe. Can I replace lauki with ash gourd ? ( kumblanga in Malayalam / petha in Hindi ) The summer gave me a bounty of it and I am trying to find ways to use it in our food 😊

  3. Jocelyn says

    Okay, ignore my question on the other post. I should have just kept reading…. I’m looking forward to trying this.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Sophie, I’m not sure but coconut burfi is definitely on my list of recipes to try! Hopefully early in the new year! I plan on trying some healthier options using honey too, so stay tuned 🙂

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Fatima, I don’t see why not! I’ve never worked with dry coconut milk powder and now you have me wondering why! I’m definitely going to get some, thanks for asking about this!