Now that the winters are at is fag end and so is going to be the end of the winter food specialities very soon.So before they leave the arena and let the warm breeze of summers creep in,I decided to make Carrot Halwa once again.As it is, this winters I did not wallow in too much of desserts and sweet making just to refrain from consuming excess sugar.But with retreating winters it becomes obligatory for me to to at least cook carrot halwa once before carrots stop showing themselves in the market.Though nowadays most vegetables are available throughout the year but the taste and fresness comes with the season only.Carrot halwa is a popular winter dessert in the Indian subcontinent especially associated with North India.Known by various names like Gajar ka hawa,gajrorer halua,Gajrela,Gajar Pak,and carrot halwa is nothing but a sweet prepared by cooking grated carrots along with milk ,ghee(clarified butter) and sugar often flavored with cardamom powder and garnished with almonds and cashews.The cooking techniques and the quantities of the ingredients however may vary form one household to another and a big reasons leading to its taste.Normally we all have a tendency to consider the one available at the sweet shop as a benchmark.I have cooked carrot halwa in all the possible ways but the one that I found best in terms of color and flavor and better then the benchmark was initially cooking grated/chopped carrots along with ghee followed by the addition of condensed milk.I would rather like to put up that this even turns out better then the benchmark because it is HOME COOKED! with all best ingredients.But condensed milk came up with the problem of high sugar content.So I stuck to using reduced whole milk which not only reduced the time of cooking but also ended up with best results.Now a big ??? Reduced milk and less time? Hows this possible?To know how I ended up with a delectable dessert let us check out the recipe along with the tips and tweaks.
- 1 kg carrots
- 1.5 lit whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 -3/4 cup ghee
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- Nuts for garnishing
- Peel and chop the carrots in a chopper.
- In a vessel reduce boil the milk and reduce the milk to little more then half.
- In another pan heat ghee and add chopped carrots into it.
- Cook them on medium heat till its moisture evaporates ,the ghee gets separated and the carrots are also cooked.
- Now add in the reduced milk,sugar and mix well.Cook further till again extra moisture gets evaporated and the ghee is visible o the surface of the halwa.
- Mix in cardamom powder for flavoring.It is ready to be served.
- Serve hot garnished with fried nuts of your choice and ENJOY!
Tips & Tweaks:
- The quantities mentioned in the list of ingredients can be altered.
- Sugar can be added as per taste.
- Carrots can be chopped in a chopper or a food processor instead of grating to save time.
- Cooking grated carrots first in ghee also results in bright color of the halwa.
- Milk reduction can be done in advance or simultaneously along with other chores as it does not require constant attention.Thus some time is saved again!
- At least use optimum quantity of ghee so as not to compromise on the taste and texture of the halwa.
Enjoy !!! and ……………………………………………………………….Happy Cooking!!!