Saturday, December 20, 2014

Carrot Halwa/Gajar Ka Halwa- Punjabi Sweet

 It’s that time of the year where those red carrots hit the market and when you can’t resist the urge to buy those fresh produce even though your fridge is already filled with those. Only in winter these carrots turn red and only these carrots gives the asli taste of Punjabi Gajar ka halwa.
It’s the ingredients that speak for itself rather than the usual complicated recipe involving complex patience-testing techniques. Just Fresh and Simple, at its best.  I don’t have a sweet tooth, so is M but he likes a couple of Punjabi sweets and SNICKERS. Whereas I love rasgullas/Roshgolas and anything chocolate! Ferrero Rocher my favorite.  Back when I was working, every month salary’s first purchase would be a box of Rochers/toblerone/Gems (M&M). When I landed in Punjab, M bought a cup of these and asked me to start with a sweet note but I was skeptical and also I couldn’t reject so I was taking the tiniest bit and tasted. Well I can’t say I fell in love immediately but slowly the texture of grated carrots and milk solids, the mild sweet, took over me and I acquired a taste for it. Another important aspect of the sweet is that it is not overpowered by desi ghee like the usual ones and the flavors of other ingredients are highlighted and as I am a texture kind of person I like those grainy milk solids slowly dissolving in my mouth alongside the carrots melting imparting the unique flavors. It’s very easy and requires humble ingredients.

Carrots- 2 cups heaped, grated
Sugar-3/4 -1 cup
Milk-1 & ½ cup
Ghee-3 tbsp
Chopped Nuts- 2tbsp (almonds+pistachios+cashews)
Cardamom – 4 pods

How it Happened:
1. Wash the carrots, peel the skin and grate them using a medium size grater. Boil the milk as you usually do and set them aside. Crush the cardamom, remove the skin and powder the seeds fine. Chop the nuts for garnish.
2. Heat the ghee in a kadai, add the grated carrots and fry them until they are tender and reduced in volume for 5-7 minutes.

3. Add 1 & ½ cups of boiled milk to the carrot and cook in medium until the mixture thickens/until the liquid has evaporated for 15-17 minutes. Keep stirring now and then and scour the sides of the kadai and combine those sticky milk solids with the mixture.
4. Now add the sugar and stir slowly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Mix well and cook for 5-7 minutes.
5. When the mixture thickens and turns glossy and semi solid, simmer the flame and cook for 5 minutes.

6. The mixture will become non-sticky and will leave the sides of the pan. The ghee starts oozing at the sides.
7. Now add the cardamom powder and nuts. Mix well and switch off the flame. Serve hot.
* Unsalted butter can be used instead of ghee.
* Orange carrots work just fine.
* Once after adding the milk, when the liquid evaporates, the milk solids will turn grainy and it will appear as if the mixture has curdled. Do not panic. It’s normal.
* The consistency can be adjusted as per your desire. If you want them a little soft and semi-sold then cook for less time after adding sugar.
* keep stirring and scour in the milk solids stuck to the sides. They are grainy and they add a great texture.
* Add any nuts of your choice.

 *Always work in medium or low flame.

1 comment :

  1. Wow that is a very awesome recipe. I will definitely try this at home.Pakistani Cooking Recipes are the best. I love all Pakistani Recipes and indian recipes and mostly the appetizers by zarnak sidhwa recipes