Sunday, 16 December 2012

Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot dessert)

Gajar Halwa

Carrots are much sought after vegetable in winters when they come in dark red color and are extremely juicy. Apart from being used in salad and soups they are used to make cakes and desserts. In winters piping hot Gajar ka halwa is the most favorite of all Gajar preparations. Whenever carrots used to be in my vegetable basket my son and daughter would start salivating at the thought of treat of Gajar ka halwa so I had no options but to make it time and again till the red juicy carrots lasted in the market.
Saturated Fat 0.037g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.117g, Monounsaturated Fat 0.014g, Sodium 69mg, Potassium 320mg, Total Carbohydrate 9.58g, Dietary Fiber 2.8g, Sugars 4.54g, Protein 0.93g, Vitamin C10%, Calcium 3%, Iron 2%. Thus with nuts sugar / jaggery added to it along with the milk it makes wonderful, nutritious, healthy very filling dessert.
Preparation Time: 20 min.
Cooking Time: 90 min
Servings: 6 medium helpings

Ingredients Required For Making Gajar Ka Halwa:
  • 1 kg. Carrots (Gajar)
Carrots
  • 1.5 Lt. Full Cream Milk
  • 150 gm. Sugar
  • 10-15 Almonds
  • 10-15 Cashew nuts
  • 15-20 Raisins
  • 1 Teaspoon Ghee (Clarified butter)
  • 100 gm. Khawa (Optional)
  • 2-3 Green Cardamom
Directions for Making Gajar Halwa:
  • Wash carrots nicely of all dirt attached to it.
  • Grate carrots.
Grated Gajar
  • Pound the green cardamom.
  • Cut the nuts  finely.
  • Take ghee in a thick bottom wok and heat on high flame till it is smoking hot.
  • Lower the flame and add pounded green cardamom and cook for 30 seconds.
In one Teaspoon of Ghee 2 pounded Green Cardamom
  • Add grated carrots to the oil and cardamom mixture.
Grated Gajar added to Ghee cardamom mixture
  • Bring the flame to high and mix the carrots and oil nicely cook for 2-3 min. on high flame with constant mixing.
  • Lower the flame and cook till all the juices of carrots are dried up. It will take 20-30 min.
After 20 min. of cooking on low flame
  • Add milk to the Pan fried carrots and mix nicely.
  • Bring the flame to high till the milk starts boiling.
Milk added and brought boil
  •  Once the milk boils bring the flame to low and cook with occasional stirring till the mixture dries up and the carrots get cooked.
Stage when Sugar should be added
  •  Add sugar and mix nicely. The mixture will become slightly wet again as sugar will lose its water so cook  on low flame with constant stirring till all liquid dries and the halwa becomes semi-dry.
Sugar added
Sugar mixed and cooked for 10 min. on low flame
Stage when Khawa should be added
  • Take a thick bottom wok and heat it on gas.
  • Lower the flame and add Khawa to hot wok and cook it for 2 min. 
Khawa being cooked for 2 min. on low flame
  • Before the Khawa starts becoming brown add the halwa in it and mix properly.
Carrots cooked with milk and sugar added to khawa
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes with constant stirring.
Khawa mixed
  • Add finely cut almonds, cashew nuts, raisins and mix.
Nuts added to Gajar Halwa
  • Gajar ka halwa is ready to be served.
  • Take some halwa in a bowl put some nuts on the top of it and serve.
Gajar Halwa
Tips:
  • Regular stirring is a must to ensure that the halwa does not get settled at the bottom and get burnt.
  • Cooking must be done on low flame to ensure proper cooking of carrots and halwa not getting burnt.
  • Wok or container in which halwa is being made should be thick bottom.
Suggested Variations:
  • The amount of milk can be increased to 2-3 lt. from 1.5 lt.
  • If you do not wish to add Khawa then milk: carrot should be 2.5: 1Kg.
  • For making the halwa more healthy and nutritious sugar can be replaced with jaggery. Halwa with jaggery is especially good for ladies post-delivery.
  • Before adding Khawa cooked halwa can be pan fried with 4-5 teaspoon of ghee.
  • Green cardamom powder can be added before adding the nuts.
  • Pistachios, Walnut can be added along with other nuts.
  • To make halwa quickly carrots can be cooked in 1/2lt. milk and then 500 gm. milk made can be added to it and cooked to semi-dry state. Amount of sugar should be reduced I to 75 gm. if milk made is added.

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