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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

15th Blogging Anniversary ~ Gajar Ka Halwa / Carrot Halwa Without Grating

Time sure flies by. The idea of an online recipe journal gave birth to this blog, 15 years ago. I would never have believed then that I would either be actively blogging after over a decade or I would still retain my enthusiasm and energy towards it. This virtual kitchen has helped me along the way in nurturing my love for cooking, exploring new cuisines and developing new friendships. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my readers who invest their time in going through my blog and drop an encouraging line.  

Here is some yummy halwa to celebrate the occasion. Carrot halwa which is called gajar ka halwa in Hindi and gajrela in Punjab is a popular sweet dish from the Indian sub continent, with it's origins in northern parts of India. This popular dessert is prepared especially during winter months as the red carrots which are the most preferred variety to prepare this halwa are available during the time. 
Carrot halwa tastes super delicious, even though it is made with only basic ingredients like carrots, milk, sugar, ghee and flavored with cardamom. Red carrots are preferable for the preparation if available but halwa is prepared with orange ones mostly as red carrots are not available everywhere. Forget about calories and use full fat milk for this halwa preparation. The grated carrots are simmered in milk until the milk is completely reduced, which takes time and patience if preparing in large quantities. There are versions made with khoya (milk solids), condensed milk etc. which are richer. Here are some versions I posted previously.
I have come across versions which involved no grating carrots and decided to try a small portion this time. The carrots are cut into chunks instead of grating and sautéed in ghee and then pressure cooked and slightly mashed in this method. I did not miss the taste but surely missed the texture of the grated carrots which I am more used to but this method definitely saves the time and work.
Ingredients: 2 - 3 servings
1 pound carrots / 2 cups, peeled carrots cut into chunks
1 cup full fat milk
2 to 3 tbsp. ghee
1/2 cup sugar (I used about 2 tbsp. less sugar)
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom 

* Heat ghee in a pan, preferably a non-stick one. Add carrot chunks to it and sauté for a couple of minutes.
* Add the sautéed carrot chunks and milk to a steel vessel and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
* When the valve pressure is gone, remove the carrots and mash them with a masher or back of a wooden spoon.
* Add the mashed carrots along with the milk back to the pan and cook, stirring now and then. Mash if any big chunks of carrots are seen. 
* The mixture begins to thicken as the milk  starts to reduce in quantity.
* Add sugar and cardamom when carrot-milk mixture begins one big mass or only a lit bit of milk is left in the pan.
* Keep cooking as the mixture again becomes loose because of the addition of sugar. Cook until the mixture slightly thickens and turn off the stove. 
* Garnish with nuts. Halwa can be served either chilled or warm. 

This is going to be my contribution to this week's Blogging marathon, with the theme 'Winter Produce'. Check the page link to see what other marathoners are cooking.

1 comment:

sushma said...

Carrot halwa looks super delicious, yum yum