Friday, January 2, 2015

Gajar Ka Halwa.......A quintessential dessert of Indian Winters


A very Happy New Year to all my readers. May this new year flourish with new discoveries, wonderful inspirations and happiness to fulfill all your desires. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and enjoyed with your near and dear ones.

I know last week I was bit irregular in posting since there was so many things going on at my end. It was my husband's birthday so we hosted a small party at our home followed by a Christmas potluck, a dinner invitation at our friend's place, prepping for the new year celebrations and finally welcoming the new year.

There are few food items which are specially prepared in winters and without which the winters are incomplete; "Gajar Ka Halwa" is one of them. Back in India, marriages and parties during winter are incomplete without it. Such is the influence of this delectable dessert.


There are many variations of this recipe like microwave version, pressure cooker version, sugar free version blah...blah...blah but this tastes best when it's made in a traditional way, where grated carrot is slow cooked in milk and then a generous amount of ghee, khoa and dry fruits are added to it. This makes the recipe very rich in calories. I need to confess here that I'm not that much calorie conscious but yes, I do care about my waistline.

During winters those red, sweet and long carrots can be found copiously and my mind starts drifting shall I have them in salads or make some Gajar Ka Halwa out of those. After having a prolonged dilemma I manage to convince myself to indulge into this sinful bowl of Halwa. Whenever I have a bowl it makes me feel guilty :( So, I tried to keep this recipe low in calories as much as I can. 

So, let's relish this bowl of bliss:


Ingredients:

1. Carrots: 1 kg
2. Low fat Milk: 2 cups
3. Ghee (clarified butter): 2 tbsp
4. Green Cardamoms (crushed): 3-4 
5. Sweetened Condensed Milk: 1 and 1/2 cup
6. Dry fruits (Cashews, Raisins, Almonds): as required

Method:

1. Wash the carrots thoroughly and peel off the skin. Now grate them with the help of a vegatable grater.



2. Take the milk in a heavy bottomed pan. As the milk starts boiling add the grated carrots and stir it continuously on low-medium heat.

3. Once all the milk is absorbed by the carrots add the sweetened condensed milk (since I have used sweetened condensed milk so there's no need of extra sugar. But you can adjust it according to your taste buds) Let it cook for 10-12 mins or until is mixture is completely dry. Stir the halwa continuously to assure that it doesn't stick to the bottom.

4. In a separate pan add ghee and fry the dry fruits. Now add them to the halwa along with the ghee. 

5. Now sprinkle the crushed cardamoms and give it a nice mix.

6. Enjoy it hot or cold. 



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