Gajar Ka Halwa
Gajar Ka Halwa

The word sugar comes from the Sanskrit words ‘sharkara’ while the word candy comes from the word ‘khanda (jaggery). From the growing of sugar cane to producing the first refined sugar, the Indian passion for sweets promoted every household to specialise in the fine art of making their own, whether as dessert or snacks, the expertise was handed down from generation to generation.

While there are numerous sweet shops in every Indian city offering countless varieties of Indian sweets, there are some Indian sweet snacks and desserts that can easily be made at home.

Soulfood Palette this time shares with you a very simple recipe of Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Pudding). This is a seasonal winter pudding when juicy, sweet, ruby red carrots are available in abundance.

Legend has it that the Sikhs from Punjab introduced it to the house of the Mughals.

This wholesome, vibrantly coloured , slightly chewy textured, aromatic halwa is perfect accompaniment to an Indian meal.

Ingredients:

• Carrots - 1 1/2kg

• Full cream Milk - 500ml

• Sugar - 125gm

• Cardamom powder (elaichi powder) - 1tsp

• Raisins – 1 ½ tbsp.

• Almonds(blanched and chopped) - 2tbsp

• Cashew nuts (roughly chopped) - 7-8 pieces

• Khoya (Mawa) - 125gm ( most Indian sweet shops sell it)

• Ghee (clarified butter) - 2 tbsp

Method:

• Wash the carrots thoroughly. Snip off the ends and grate them coarsely with a vegetable grater.

• Put the carrots into a pressure cooker and steam till the first whistle. Take off the heat and open the pressure cooker once the steam has released.

• In a deep bottomed preferably non-stick pan add the carrots and the milk. Stir often and let it cook on a low- medium flame. The milk will slowly get fully absorbed by the carrots. This process should take around one hour (I usually utilize this time to unwind over a book and a cup of coffee while stirring the mixture often).

• Heat the ghee in a non-stick pan, add the carrot mix, cardamom powder, raisins . Stir well, for about 3 minutes on low flame and then add the sugar( adjust the quantity of sugar as per taste).

• Now crumble the khoya and mix well until the khoya and sugar are fully absorbed by the carrot mix.

• Switch off the gas, garnish with almonds and cashew nuts. Serve hot.


SOULFOOD TWISTS
• The hot halwa with some cold vanilla ice-cream is a match made in heaven.

• I usually double the quantity of all the ingredients, making a larger quantity, refrigerating the leftovers and taking out the desired amount, relishing it over the next few days.

• It tastes scrumptious cold too, straight out of the fridge, with a touch of cream.
Tishita Chopra is a home cook who runs Soulfood Palette-food with a twist. Simple wholesome food, that warms me up on a cold winter day and cools me down on a hot summer afternoon. It’s freshly made-to-order food, with varieties ranging from the steamed Christmas puddings to warm Burmese Khow Suey to Quiches to Creamy Bengali mustard fish. You can reach out through Facebook and view the Soulfood Palette Page or contact her on soulfood.palette@gmail.com OR tishchopra@gmail.com.

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