I always used to wait for winter season because of two reasons, you get a chance to attend lots of marriages and relish wonderful food spread, and second because of red carrots. Now living in Bangalore attending marriages is very less but red carrots are available in abundance. Back in my childhood I was privileged to have home grown fresh carrots. Used to prepare carrot halwa, carrot+cabbage +peas mixed vegetable, sweet carrot rice and so on. And I remember that season’s first carrot halwa was made on 31st December night, so that we can welcome new year by watching new year program on Doordarshan and enjoy hot carrot halwa.
My mother used to prepare the bestest Gaajar ka halwa by following long traditional method. All members in the family used to grate carrots. Now I grate in my food processor and it saves a lot of effort and time. But this is the only short route I follow during the whole process. I don’t agree with following the shortcut by boiling carrots in pressure cooker. No offense to all those who prefer this process, but my personal preference is to follow long traditional method and get the authentic taste.
Red carrots are available in the market, so, in this winter season prepare once for sure.
Gaajar ka Halwa
Red carrots……………..3kg(peeled and cut both ends)
Granulated sugar…………. 750gm (can increase or decrease as per your taste)
Milk……………… 2+1/2litre(low fat)
Khoya /Mawa…………… 250gm (I prepared one day before with full fat milk. Can buy from the market also)
Can check my post for preparing Homemade khoya/mawa
Mix of finely chopped nuts like cashew, pista, almond and cardamom powder…… 1/8cup(can increase according to your taste)
Desi ghee……. 3-4tbsp(optional,to increase richness)
Cut both the ends of the carrots and wash them nicely in running water, peel them and again wash them thoroughly to avoid any dirt.
Now take a thick bottomed big vessel and start boiling milk in it.
When milk is boiling, start grating the carrots. You can grate all the carrots and in the end add all in the milk, or once milk starts boiling, keep on adding grated carrots simultaneously in the milk.
Now remember that carrots have their own juice, so when you are adding grated carrots into boiling milk, the quantity of this whole mix would be double and it would be difficult to stir it thoroughly. So you can divide this mix in two vessels.
If you are grating and adding carrots in the milk then keep the heat on sim, to avoid burning the milk at the bottom of the vessel. Once all grated carrots are added in the milk, you can adjust the heat between medium and high and continuously stir for half an hour and then reduce the heat to sim and let it boil and you take rest.
Yes, it is a long process…, but in the end you will not regret!
Remember, don’t forget to stir from time to time. Slowly milk will be reduced and whole mixture will be thick. Now you can mix the whole mixture in one vessel instead of two.
Once whole mixture is completely thick and milk is not visible, add sugar and stir on medium heat to avoid burning.
Carrots will soak all sugar and once again this mixture would be thick. Now you can taste it, if you feel sugar is less, can add more. Now crumble khoya and mix in halwa. On sim heat, mix khoya evenly in all halwa.
Switch off gas, add 3/4th (of total specified above) chopped nuts, cardamom powder and ghee and mix these. Transfer ready yummilicious Gaajar ka halwa in a serving plate and sprinkle the remaining chopped nuts on top.
Now serve it as a dessert, have it in breakfast with milk or pack for your kid’s snack box.
You can keep it in the fridge for 10/12 days, but it never lasts so long as you cannot keep yourself away from it!