Let me start by wishing everyone a very Happy and Sweet New Year, 2009!
I know I've been neglecting my blog. Its been sooo long since I updated it. I can list ample excuses here... but I guess I'll pass ;-) . I have a whole parade of pictures lined up, waiting to be shown off. So, without any further ado, I think I'll just put up all of them one after the other.
We happened to meet one of my hubby's friend and his family for lunch this Sunday. Two other families joined us too. Sri's friend said it was tradition for them to have Indian Buffet after Church every Sunday. All Americans, I could see that they loved Indian food, especially the Carrot Halwa. Even the one and a half year old couldnt get enough of it. The little older ones referred to it as the 'Orange Thingy' :-). No surprises there, everyone loves the 'Gajar Ka Halwa' as it has been immortalized by Bollywood, where the heroine always makes it to woo her man. Many a wedding receptions in India offer hot Carrot Halwa with cold Vanilla Icecream for dessert. I have a friend who does not like the smell of cooked carrots, but he likes the concept of this halwa sooo much that he substitutes beetroots for carrots and makes beetroot halwa instead, which tastes amazingly good too. But, for me, this is one evergreen dessert, or should I say, everOrange?? ;-)
So, here's starting the new year with a sweet note, the Carrot Halwa!
2lb (1 Kg) juicy orange Carrots, washed, peeled and grated
3 cups Whole Milk
1lb (500 gms) Sugar
1 teaspoon Cardamom powder
1/2 cup Ghee/Clarified Butter
Almonds,Cashews and Raisins for garnish
1. Add milk to the grated carrots and pressure cook for about 3 whistles.
2. Once cool enough to handle, transfer the cooked carrots, to a thick bottomed pan, on medium heat.
3. Add the sugar and keep stirring until all the liquid evaporates.
4. Add the ghee and keep mixing until it all comes together in one thick mass, and starts glistening(ghee starts separating).
5. Steps 3 and 4 together should take somewhere around 40 minutes. Keep stirring on medium-low heat until you achieve this.
6. Fry the cashews and raisins in ghee and add it to the halwa. Mix in the cardamom powder.
7. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with almomds, or maybe with a dollop of Vanilla Icecream!
You can use condensed milk for a richer taste. Just reduce the quantity of milk to 1.5 cups while pressure cooking. Add about 1 cup of condensed milk when you transfer the cooked carrots to the thick bottomed vessel. Adjust the sugar accordingly, if you are using sweetened condensed sugar.