Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot Pudding)

Gajar ka halwa is one of those famous Bollywood cliches of course, but is also undeniably one of the most popular dishes from Punjabi cuisine to seep into other parts of India.
It has always been a favourite with me - I remember eating it in my neighbour's house in Mumbai - their daughter and me were inseparable as kids; same age, same school, same everything - we would have to be puled apart at the end of the day howling and screaming when we were taken to our respective homes! They are Punjabis and Aunty A made the most amazing melt-in-your-mouth carrot halwa.

I made sure it was on the menu for my wedding - thats how much I love it! I guess its something about the lovely taste of almost caramelized carrots cooked into sweet nothingness in milk and sugar which makes me sigh with satisfaction. In Chennai I would have to wait for that fleeting month when the red carrots would make their appearance - here in Delhi they flood the markets from November to March.

No wonder then (especially when they are also cheap at this time) that the winter here sees me making this almost every other week. Its a great snack/dessert/breakfast - you name it :) I don't use khoya though and cook the carrots in the milk right down till it becomes khoya! I also don't add almonds or other nuts and nor do I serve it with ice cream - less is more.

Gajar ka Halwa

Peeled and grated carrots (preferable red, juicy carrots) - 2.5 cups
Milk - 6 cups
Sugar - 1 cup
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp

1. Bring the milk to boil in heavy bottomed pan and continue to simmer till it reduces to half the quantity. Make sure you keep stirring once in a while, so it doesn't stick to the bottom.
2. Meanwhile, in another pan, heat the ghee and add the grated carrots.
3. Saute for about 5-8 minutes on a low flame till it loses its raw smell and softens.
4. Add the carrot to the reduced milk and continue cooking till the milk is completely absorbed and the carrot is just moist.
Once the carrot is cooked, add sugar and cook for 5 minutes, till the sugar dissolves.
5. Add the cardamom powder and remove from flame.
6. Serve warm


Bong Mom said...

Yumm Gajar ka halwa, sunshine in winter. I like it, though not as much to insist on the wedding menu ;-)

Asha said...

YUMMY! I had Gajrela at a Punbabi restaurant, it was yum. Looks great, love the color.

Cham said...

Been such a long time I made sweeets, the color is great!

Mallugirl said...

i could never find that deep red carrots that floods Delhi in winter any where else.. gajar ka halwa is a must in winter!

kamalabhoopathy said...

Wow!! my favorite sweet

Arch said...

Hmmm, didnt know you liked this soooo much...This looks like a nice version of the otherwise really sweet and heavy gajar halwa...

indosungod said...

I like the texture you have there Miri. I guess it takes the right carrot to give it that taste. No wonder the carrots that we got in TN were right just for sambhar and nobody attempted making halwa that much.

Mallika said...

Just the way I love it! I've been enjoying this recipe even more since I bought an amazing new Magimix to do the grating job!

Vaishali said...

Miri, great minds must think alike because just this week I've been craving some gajar halwa and was just wondering if I had the time to make it when I get home today. :)
It is one of my favorite sweets too, and now-- with your beautiful picture-- you've made me crave it even more!

Devarenjini... said...

hey... its looking yum..:)
but had one doubt...but you haven't mentioned when to add sugar, before or after adding carrots to milk...??

Thanks a bunch for sharing...