Gajar ka halwa. The winter special. I heart winter. And I heart may more things for which winter is known for. Like this Indian carrot pudding , laden with goodness of milk, nuts and pure ghee, the shudh desi one.
That ever popular, crowd pleaser, ever green and famed gajar ka halwa which is also known as unusual and decadent Indian carrot fudge to the rest of the world. Simple. Delicious. And utterly sinful. Calorific.
But winters are not complete without these. Ruby red carrots which are popularly known as Delhi carrots too, are something winters are meant for. It’s an age old winter ritual in many homes.
Some foods are simply and effortlessly, ingrained so deeply in our culture, traditions and psych that it becomes a very part of our own cultural existence. Gajar ka halwa is one such dessert that has elevated itself to that stature, without which winters are meaningless. And become India’s one of the most celebrated dessert.
Traditions are like that, it flows unhindered through times. Keeping up with the tradition of devouring this winter special, gajar ka halwa which I am making since ages has inspired me to try out many versions of it. Like, simple pressure cook and microwave one with no elbow grease, without simmering it in gallons of milk, with condensed milk, the low fat variety and so on.
I had even tried out a gajar ka halwa barfi with coconut, the beautiful marriage of coconut with carrots and a carrot halwa tart too, where you serve the gajar ka halwa in homemade biscuit tart shells. All the experiments were indeed successful, had received much accolades but believe me, honestly nothing beats the old fashioned gajar ka halwa.
There is something sublime in being simple and pure.
So here I bring you this, simple, old fashioned gajar ka halwa, with no twists and turns. No halwa tarts, no gajar ka halwa cake, pie, no laddoos. And please no creams, and no ice creams too. Just keep it simple. The way it always meant to be.
So, take a pause to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. . .Gajar ka halwa in all its deliciousness.
Cherishing a bowl of pure and warm gajar ka halwa in my hand, as I leafing through my sepia toned albums, my memories flooded with beautiful images of bygone days. When life was simple, sweet and uncomplicated.
- Red Carrot / Delhi carrot (gajar): 1 kilo
- Cashew nuts (cut into halves); Almonds (sliced); raisins: ¾ cup, Pistachios: 10-12
- Cardamom: 3-4 coarsely crushed
- Milk solids (khova): 100gm
- Condensed milk : 1 cup
- Toned Milk: 500 ml
- Ghee (Indian clarified butter): ¼ cup
- Bay leaf: two
- Wash the carrots or gajar thoroughly and peel off the skin. I prefers the red gajar or carrots as they are better in taste and color than their orange counterparts. Now grate the carrots little coarsely with the help of a vegetable grater.
- That gives a different texture. However you can coarsely grate the carrots in mixer too, it will give more soft texture.
- Heat 500 ml of milk in a deep bottomed vessel. As the milk starts boiling (reduce it little before adding the carrots).
- Add the grated carrots (gajar) and stir it continuously on a low-medium flame.
- Stir in the bay leaves and the cardamom whole or crushed.
- Stirring it continuously until the last drop of milk get absorbed by the carrots.
- Stir in the condensed milk.
- Keep stirring from time to time.
- While this is in progress, in a separate pan heat a tablespoon ghee and fry the raisins and nuts.
- Stir in the nut mixture and khova when the carrots are almost done.
- In a separate wide open pan, warm the ghee and add the carrots.
- Now fry the carrot halwa in ghee till the color begins to change slightly.
- Serve warm with slivers of pistachios as garnish.
Stay tuned for more deliciousness