Carrot or Gajar Halwa
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” ― Edith Sitwell
I find winters comforting. It reminds me that the holiday season is coming closer and a perfect time to indulge in rich and feel good desserts. It is also a great time to use up winter vegetables. Their natural sweetness makes them perfect for addition to desserts. The first dessert that popped into my head was Carrot Halwa. The word Halwa originates from Middle East and literally means a dense compact dessert. The inclusion of carrot is wonderful and a delicious delight as the main ingredient in a halwa.
Carrot or Gajar Halwa is mainly a dessert pudding made by cooking grated carrot, milk and sugar. The dessert is very popular in Northern Indian households during winters and fondly known as Gajrela. It does take to refrigeration well and therefore a great make ahead dessert. Carrot halwa can be served hot or cold as preferred. It’s vibrant colour, aroma, and slightly chewy texture is perfect for those wintery cold days.
1 kg carrots, grated
1/2 tin or 200g – Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups or 500ml milk
25g cashewnuts, roughly chopped
25g golden raisins
2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
1 tsp cardamom powder
- Heat 1 tbsp ghee and fry cashew nuts and raisins till golden brown. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pan, heat the remaining ghee. Mix carrots and milk. Cook on low flame, stirring occasionally, till the milk dries up.
- Add condensed milk and continue cooking on low flame, stirring occasionally, till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. This is will take approx 20-25 mins.
- Add cardamom powder and stir well.
- Garnish with nuts and raisins and serve hot.
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