Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gajar Halwa
Makes 4 servings

I reduced the amount of sugar originally called for as the carrots are already quite sweet, but feel free to adjust the amount of sugar depending on your preference. Low heat and constant stirring of the carrot-milk mixture are key to the success of this dish to prevent the carrots from burning. Check out the ‘Tips’ section in Jackie’s post for ideas on creating a vegan version.

11 ounces raw carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
2¾ cups whole milk
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
A handful of chopped nuts of your choice: almonds, pistachios or cashews are some common accompaniments

Heat the milk and the water in a heavy-bottomed pot (the water helps to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom), stirring occasionally. When bubbles start to form on the surface, add the carrots and the cardamom and mix. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to its lowest setting, stirring every few minutes. Leave the pot uncovered during cooking to help the milk evaporate.

Stir, stir, stir, until almost all the milk is evaporated, which should take between 45 minutes to an hour. When that’s done, stir in the sugar, butter and saffron and turn the heat up. Let the mixture boil, stirring as you do so, until all the liquid evaporates and you get a soft, orangey mush.

Scoop into individual bowls, garnish with nuts and serve with vanilla ice-cream.

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