Another recipe ticked off from my list
A mug of extra hot gajar halva in winters is a treat for my tastebuds.
Gajar halva is an Indian dessert made using carrots, milk, cream and sugar. The carrots are steamed in milk slowly over a long period until the milk ecaporates and carrots become soft. The flavours of carrots and milk combines together giving a soothing and delicious taste.
Every year during winters, my mother prepares this dessert several times.
And I always had the responsibility to reheat and serve the halva to everyone. After serving, I used to relish mine at a slow pace. Each morsel of this hot and creamy dessert used to take me to heaven.
This morning, my mother sends me this picture of her homemade Gajar Halva (Carrots Halva). This brings back fond memories and a yearning to have the same dessert.
So, I decide to cook gajar halva. Well, it won’t be as exquisite as mothers’. But it’s worth making an effort.
Hence, I call up my mother to find ingredients and instructions.
As she recounts the ingredients, my spirit plummets.
Principal components of the recipe are unavailable at present in my pantry.
I do not have red carrots, full cream milk, or cream (malai) or condensed milk (khoa).
Not one to give up, I substitute the chief ingredients in her recipe with orange carrots, ghee(clarified butter) and 2% reduced fat milk. Mother also advises increasing quantity of milk as we don’t have khoya (condensed milk).
As per her instructions, I pour the milk in a pan (kadhai) and place it on the burner.
The recipe calls for grated carrots. I could put to use the food processor to grate the carrots. But I am in a mood to prepare in the traditional manner. So, I peel the carrots, rinse them, and grate them using the grater. This takes around ten minutes.
The milk is boiling now. Next is to pour the grated carrots in milk. And give a nice mix. Then close the pan with a lid. And reduce the burner to medium.
Now it will take around three hours for carrots to soften and milk to evaporate. So, I place 15 minutes timer on my microwave clock. After every fifteen minutes, I give the halva a nice stir. Doing this averts any burns at the base.
An appetising aroma fills my entire apartment.
After three hours, carrots become tender, and the milk becomes condensed. This happens due to steam generated when carrots were cooked covered. The slower you cook this one, the richer it will taste in the end.
Now add ghee and sugar to the mixture and stir well. The addition of sugar increases liquid content of halva again.
So, halva is further heated for 30 or more minutes. This time I have to stir the halva to prevent burning.
When whole liquid evaporates, I switch off the burner. Then transfer the halva into a steel vessel. You can use any vessel. The halva can be stored in your refriger for 7-10 days.
After dinner, I reheated a small portion of halva in milk, sprinkled some crushed almonds over it and served hot. If you have malai (cream), use it when reheating to increase the deliciousness.
Gajar HalvaPrint This
- 6 large carrots
- 1 and 1/4 litre/ 34 oz Milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp ghee(clarified butter)
- Start boiling milk on medium heat in a deep pan.
- Grate carrots.
- Pour grated carrots in the milk, once it starts boiling. Cover the pan with a lid.
- Let the carrots cook in milk for 3 hours or till whole milk evaporates. Keep on stirring in between.
- When whole milk has evaporated, add sugar and ghee and mix well.
- Keep the burner on and stir continuously, until all remaining liquid evaporates.
- Serve hot or store in a container in refrigerator.