For Day 6 of BM, I made the most widely made and liked dessert in India, Gajar Halwa aka Carrot Halwa. I read somewhere that carrot halwa is generally made in winters because the sweet carrots or gajar is widely available in winters. My MIL makes the best Carrot halwa and she makes hers with khoya, but I took the short cut and made mine with condensed milk.
For best results, this dessert has to be cooked low and slow, on a low flame stirring occasionally in the beginning and more frequently at the end when the halwa is coming together.
Here's how I made it:
Carrots - 6 medium, grated (I took another short cut and used the food processor, but if you have the time, patience and the bicep strength, go ahead and grate your carrots by hand)
Milk - 1½ cups (I used 2% Milk)
Condensed milk - 1 12oz. can
Sugar - 1/2 cup (or as per taste)
Ground cardamom (elaichi) - 1/2 tsp
Cashews - 2tbsp
Raisins - 2tbsp
- In a wide saute pan, heat 1tbsp ghee (clarified butter) and roast the cashews and raisins. Once the cashews are golden and raisins plump up, remove and set aside.
- In the same pan, add 2tbsp ghee and the grated carrots. Saute on low flame until the carrots don't smell raw anymore, this takes about 20-30 minutes.
- Slowly add the milk and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered until the milk starts to thicken and the carrots are completely tender, this will take about 15 minutes.
- Next add condensed milk and sugar. As the sugar melts the mixture will become liquidy, but as it cooks it thickens again. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture becomes thick, takes about 20-25 minutes. Add the ground cardamom and cook for couple of minutes.
- Garnish with the roasted cashews and raisins.
Enjoy hot, cold or at room temperature. Tastes great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you are anything like me, you will have raisins and cashews left behind for the final bite :-). If you are not, you will have below as your last bite.