Till March, southern India gets vegetables of very high quality. This is the best time to indulge in cooking exotic preparations. I found lovely, juicy, and tender carrots in the market, and as soon as I saw them I said ‘Carrot Halwa!’
Halwas are desserts where sugar and ghee are combined with vegetables or with maida to arrive at a tasty and slightly sticky sweet. Carrot halwa is made with the addition of milk to provide a very rich flavour. There are several recipes and methods available across India. This recipe is very easy to make and doesn’t use too much ghee, making it less fatty and easy to digest.
Carrots are very rich in carotene – a 100 g of carrots provides 1,890 mcg of carotene, which is a precursor of vitamin A. Carrots also provide folic acid and choline. This preparation is a very high energy dessert, with the sugar and the ghee contributing the energy. I have used very little ghee so that it can be tolerated by those who find it difficult to digest saturated fat.
- 4 C grated Carrot
- 2 C Sugar
- 500 ml Milk
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 8-10 whole Cardamoms
- 3 T Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- A few Cashew nuts
- Place the grated carrot and the milk in a large, heavy-based pan with a tight-fitting lid.
- Heat the carrot and milk mixture and bring to boil.
- Lower heat, close the pan, and allow to cook till the carrot is tender. Stir in-between to prevent it sticking to the pan.
- Add the sugar and the salt, and blend well.
- Cook on low heat, uncovered, stirring now and then till the mixture is thick.
- Add the ghee and the cardamom and stir till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
- Remove from heat, cool, and store in a refrigerator.
- Decorate with cashew nuts when serving.
- Use fresh, un-boiled milk. If you use hot milk the milk will curdle.
- The milk will tend to boil over even on low heat. Open the vessel now and then and stir to control that.