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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Carrot Halwa

I have a neverending love affair with orange and purple fruits and vegetables.  Mention butternut squash, pumpkin, carrots, persimmons, eggplant, beets, red cabbage, and..wait for it.. Purple Carrots, and you'll have me intrigued.
Show me any one of the above mentionned items in a dessert and I'll start having spontaneous conversations with you completely out of context.
Make it an Indian dessert, and there will be an indescribable unspoken bond between us.
I've done it before with beets, now I present you with Carrot Halwa done the traditional way.
I followed the method on VegRecipesofIndia to the letter.
9 medium carrots, peeled and grated (2.5 cups)
4 cups whole milk
4 Tbsp ghee (I used 2 Tbsp canola oil)
10 Tbsp (100g) dark brown sugar
6 green cardamom, dry roasted and ground
Pinch saffron threads
Handful raisins
Handful unsalted pistachios
Handful cracked walnuts
1.  In a large pot or wok, heat the milk and grated carrots together to a low simmer.  Cook this way, stirring from time to time until the mixture reduces to a pudding consistency.  The milk should reduce by 75%.  This takes a long time.. Over an hour.  Don't rush it.
2.  Add in the ghee or oil, sugar, and cardamom.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for another 20 minutes.
3.  Stir in the saffron, nuts and raisins and reduce to desired texture.  I didn't want any liquid, so I left it another 20 minutes, always stirring.

Serve warm or at room temperature garnished with a few walnuts, pistachios, and raisins.
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