Saturday 7 February 2015

Carrot Halwa (காரட் ஹல்வா)

Delhi carrots are available only during winter as against regular carrots, which are available dime a dozen all through the year. So, when I found fresh Delhi carrots in my regular vegetable shop, I picked up a few with the intention of making carrot halwa. These carrots are reddish pink in color, crunchy and sweetish when compared to regular carrots. You can also make salads with Delhi carrots. As far as halwa is concerned, it is preferable to use Delhi carrots (Fig.1), even though you can use regular carrots instead. Carrot halwa is one of the easiest sweets you can make at home. You can serve it as a dessert or as part of a feast menu. 

Fig.1: Delhi Carrots
Though khoa or condensed milk is often used to make carrot halwa, I prefer to use only milk for this recipe. My grandmother used to prepare carrot halwa in a kadai, while I find it convenient to pressure cook the ingredients before cooking in the kadai,  as it saves time.

Ingredients: (Serves four)
Delhi carrots – grated, 3 teacups or 600ml measure
Full cream milk – 2 teacups or 400ml measure
Sugar – little over ¼ teacup or 50ml measure (adjust to taste)
Ghee – 3 tablespoons
Cashew nuts – 1 tablespoon
Raisins – 1 tablespoon

Method: Wash the carrots well in running water. Scrape the skin and grate the carrots. Add the milk to the grated carrots in a vessel and cook this mixture in a pressure cooker for 5 minutes or 5 whistles. Once the pressure subsides, remove the vessel and transfer the contents to the kadai (Fig.2).

Fig.2: Cook the carrot-milk mixture in a kadai
Heat the contents on medium flame, stirring on and off. As you cook, the contents boil and the milk starts to condense. Scrape the milk solids accumulating along the sides of the kadai every now and then, and add to the boiling mixture. Continue to cook till the milk is fully absorbed. Reduce the fire. At this stage, add sugar and blend well. Now add 2 tablespoons of ghee and mix well. Continue to cook on low flame till the contents become a mass and the ghee separates. Switch off the stove.

Heat the remaining ghee in a tadka pan or spice pan, add cashew nuts and fry till they turn light brown. Now add raisins, which puff up immediately. Switch off the stove. Add the fried ingredients to the halwa and serve hot.
Carrot Halwa (காரட் ஹல்வா)
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