A Sweet Start - Carrot Halwa
A very warm welcome to everyone. One of the reasons I started this blog is because I got inspired by all the other bloggers out there.
What better way to kick off my blogging experience than with something sweet to eat? Here I present, my version of the scrumptious Indian dessert called "Gajar Ka Halwa" or "Carrot Halwa". I remember my mom making this dessert for special occasions. She usually recruited me or one of my sisters or my dad to grate carrots for her. We usually did this while watching T.V. The ingredients required for this recipe are just a handful.
- 3-4 tbsp of ghee
- 12-15 medium to large fresh carrots
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 16 oz container of half and half/milk
- 3-4 caradamom pods
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Handful of cashews broken in half and golden raisins
- One large heavy bottomed pot
- One grater
- First peel, wash and grate the carrots. It will be easier if the tips of the carrots are not cut off as the tips can be used to hold the carrot so you don't end up grating your fingers :). This will take a while so take a seat or move your setup to the nearest T.V, like I did. You should have about 4-41/2 cups of packed grated carrot.
- Meanwhile, place the heavy bottomed pot on the stove on medium heat, add 1 tbsp of ghee/clarified butter. Add the broken cashew pieces and fry for 30 sec or so and add the golden raisins. Fry until the cashews are golden brown and the rasins plump up. Make sure you move them around in the pot. Remove from the pot and keep aside.
- To the same pot, on medium-high heat, add another 1 tbsp of ghee and put the grated carrots. Fry the carrot in ghee for about 10-15 mins until the raw smell of the carrot turns into a yummy fragrance.
- Now add the 16 oz (2 cups) container of half and half. For a low fat version, you can substitute this with about 10 oz - 12 oz (about 1 1/2 cup of milk) and the sweetened condensed milk.
- Now we come to the "stir and wait" part. Keep stirring the carrot, milk mixture so it doesn't stick to the pot. This is where your choice of the "heavy bottomed" pot helps you out a little. I use my alumium pressure cooker (without the lid) for such tasks.
- Meanwhile, de-seed the caradamom pods, powder the seeds (I use my coffee turned spice grinder for this) and keep aside.
- When the carrot, milk mixture begins to come together, starts to leave the sides of the pan, it is of halwa consistency (a little thicker than apple sauce), taste it. It should be pretty sweet because of the sweetened condensed milk that we added. If it is not sweet enough add sugar at this point and stir it for another 5 min. I have had to add about 1/4 cup.
- Turn off the stove, add the caradomom seed powder and mix in the cashews and raisins. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of ghee.
- Serve it warm.
This makes about 10-12 medium servings