Say hello to September with these simple and delicious carrot coconut barfi.
September is the month of transition as Monsoon begins its retreat from larger part of the subcontinent, sun shines brightly against a deep blue azure sky announcing the onset of Autumn, and for us Indians it is also the beginning of festival season. Though it is said that number of festivals in India outnumber the days in a year, but especially in September, the post-monsoon time the air is heavily scented with the fervor of festivity. Though it starts with Rakhi purnima in August , follows by Janmashtami and Ganesh chaturthi which is celebrated throughout India with much grandeur and then follows by Navratri and continue till Diwali in November. So to get ourselves tuned with the very season of festivals, we are going to blog about some sweet and delicious festive recipes that you can bring to table without much hassle.
They say, festivals are a living, dancing museum of cultures and traditions and India is living example of that. Somehow I feel that more than religious reasons, these festivals have become a part of our rich cultural heritage.
This year we had celebrated Janmashtami at our home for the very first time. I love to do it in my own way without going much into the minute details of rituals. I think more than the rituals and customs I enjoy cleaning and decorating the house with flowers and garlands. The marigold and chrysanthemums painted the house with beautiful hues of yellow and orange, the rooms smells good and pure with sandal perfumed incense sticks. We have a small hand-painted wooden mandir which was beautifully adorned with flowers, garlands and lights. We had prepared an assortment of bhog or divine platter for Bal Gopal with his favourite food. There were luchi / poori, five types of vegetable fritters, five types of sweets and fruits, kheer or rabdi to which I had added few cashew fudge to make kaju barfi malai and malpoa. I am sure Lord will love my creative flavours.
So when it comes to cook some festive dishes, we often ran short of ideas. Coconut fudge in all variations are the most common dish you will find, so to give it some different flavour and to improve its nutrition profile, I had clubbed it with grated carrots. Idea was to blend carrot halwa with coconut fudge. You can make it as separate layered fudge or barfi or you can mix them both. This barfi stays fresh for a week in refrigerator and is deliciously simple to make with handful of pantry staples.
- Grated carrot : 2 cups
- Finely grated fresh coconut : 2 cups
- Cardomom powder: ¼ tsp
- Jaggery powder: 1 cup
- Sugar: ½ cup or as required for the sweetness
- Nutmeg powder : a large pinch
- Milk / coconut milk : ¼ cup
- Khova : ½ cup
- Cashew and Raisins: a handful
- Ghee : 3 tbsp or more
- Chopped pistachios for garnishing
- In a nonstick pan warm up the ghee, add the cashew and raisins. Fry them lightly. Add the grated carrot and fry them till the raw smell of carrot disappear. To this add the grated coconut along with milk. Give a nice stir and mix it well. Add further the jaggery powder, nutmeg powder, cardamom powder and khova. Mix them all together and keep stirring till everything incorporates well.
- Lower the heat and cook further till the mixture becomes lumpy and comes together and dont stick to the pan.
- Grease a tray, spread the mixture evenly, check for the thickness and let it set for an hour or more till it cools down. Cut it into desired shapes and enjoy.
Enjoy the festivities