Aug 28, 2007

Carrot Halwa / Gajar ka Halwa / Halva

Excerpted from Chai, The Spice Tea of India, by Diana Rosen.

A favorite of the Sikhs of Punjab, carrot halwa originated from nut dishes introduced by traders from the Middle East and Asia Minor during the Moghul period.

Indians use a variety of vegetables for halwa, including pumpkins, zucchinis and other squashes, potatoes and yams, and even winter melons. Some recipes substitute ricotta cheese and dry milk for the whole milk used here, but fresh milk produces a richer and smoother sweet. Halwa can be kept refrigerated for several days, then heated prior to serving.

Ingredients: -
3 cups grated carrots (Medium grated)
1.5 cups milk
1.5 cups sugar
1.5 tbsp Ghee (Melted butter)
1/4 tsp cardamom power (Elakki)
A pinch of saffron (Kesri)
Cashew nuts and raisins as per taste

Preparation method: -
1. Fry the cashew nuts in 1/2 of ghee and keep aside.
2. Add milk to grated carrots and pressure cook till one whistle.
3. In a heavy kadai/pan transfer the milk carrot mixture and then add sugar.
4. Keep on stirring in medium flame.
5. Add saffron, when the mixture is thickening.
6. When complete moisture is absorbed add half of the ghee.
7. Fry for another two minutes and remove from fire.
8. Add the fried cashews, raisins and cardamom power and mix well.
9. Serve cold. The halva can be refrigerated and can be made warm before serving.

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