Gajar ka Halwa is always associated with festivals, occasions,celebrations and autumn. There is a story weaved with every preparation , a sense of strong connection to roots and lots of memories.
My amma ( as I call my mother) used to make them religiously every year, as long as we were in Mumbai growing up. Good long 15 years !! Probably when we ( my brother and me ) grew up to 8 years and 10 years , as I vaguely remember , Amma would wash and peel the juicy red carrots and then ask us to take turns to grate the carrots in the box grater on the coarse side. We would do 2-3 carrots each and make up reasons for not doing it. Start complaining of arm ache or getting our fingers bruised while grating and many more.Compassionately Amma would sort us out, still get us do our share. In minutes after that, she would grate them all in a stride. I can totally relate to those teeny weeny silly reasons. My elder one , now 7 has got 100 such reasons when you ask him to do anything , against his will . But thats childhood ! That is being how you are .. completely true , expressing it in many ways .
We would talk about school, talk about how the english teacher got annoyed at the class for not behaving, how we were punished for not getting to school on time and so forth. As years past , as we grew from kids to teenagers , things changed and time changed . For stress burster exercise, Amma would pull me off books and ask me to help her with her chores. Reluctantly I would . She would take me for a little stroll to the market , treat me to my favourite chat and as we graze by the streets or waiting for the bus , we would have a friendly chat about everything ! Those were times.
Now when I have stepped into the motherly shoes , I can trace back to those days, see them all repeating with my little ones. Talk to my just turned 7 years lad , he would be standing in the front line to confront .
Well this Gajar ka Halwa was for dessert for the boys birthday party. We had a quite celebration with my English neighbours and their lovely kids. Vedant and Andrew are a year apart , but its lovely to see the boys have their games .
On the menu was Paneer Butter Masala , Chole Masala , Dal Tadka with Phulka’s and Pulav Rice. Gajar ka Halwa for dessert. Sara and Rob , the beautiful couple enjoyed it !! And I was one happy host.
Gajar ka Halwa or call it Carrot pudding is prepared in autumn/winter with the juicy red carrots as its naturally sugar-y. It doesn’t mean , one cannot make them with the orange carrots , always available in the markets and super grocers. January end until mid February is a celebration at home here as we are blessed with a series of occasions and birthday celebration on the very same day.
This dessert can be made a numerous ways – Traditional way with just milk and sugar or with milk and condensed milk , milk and khoya / paneer and more. There is already a recipe the traditional way in my blog – Gajar ka Halwa – the Indian Carrot Pudding
GAJAR KA HALWA WITH CONDENSED MILK | CARROT PUDDING
- 1 kg Carrots
- 400 ml Full Fat Milk
- ¾ Cup of Granuted Sugar 168g
- 1 Can of 400 ml Condensed Milk
- ½ Tsp of Cardamom Powder
- 3 Tblspn + 1 Tblspn of Unsalted Butter
- Handful of chopped Nuts for garnishing
- Heat a deep bottom non-stick pan, melt the butter until it begins to clear and fry the grated carrots for approximately 5 minutes until they begin
- to soften.
- Pour the milk over the carrots and cook over
- medium to high heat, stirring frequently , till the carrots are done and the
- milk has reduced to less than half the original quantity. Add the sugar and
- let them simmer together until they have reduced nearly.
- At this stage, you can pop in the entire can
- of condensed milk over the reduced carrot mixture, stirring once. Add the
- cardamom powder and cook until all the liquid in the halwa has evaporated,
- making sure the halwa is still moist but not wet and flowing.
- Once you add
- the condensed milk , very frequent supervision and nearly continuous stirring
- is required in order to avoid the pan catching and burning the halwa.Set it aside, top it with garnishing and
- serve it with ice cream when warm or serve it on it one when cooled down.
- For garnishing, heat a tbsp. of butter. Once they clear and begin to
- separate the solids, add the chopped cashewnuts and sliced almonds. Fry them
- in low flame until they are light brown in colour and set aside. In this case
- I have just used fresh crushed cashewnuts to be topped over on each serving. Apprximately 12 servings is what we can have from this proportions , but it all depends on the size too.