Friday, November 5, 2010
After missing a flight, then running almost a half marathon across the airport and juggling with a hungry and sleep deprived toddler, we finally managed to land at the opposite end of the country! Sending a warm hello from a windy and chilly California! We are visiting San Francisco, the place we used to call home and now our close friends do. Living thousands and thousands of miles away from family, these are a few friends we can call family now. It's always a delight to spend some quality time and giggle n laugh with them, especially on festivals! Its Diwali today ...
One of the biggest and most celebrated Hindu festivals. You might have read my post on Dussehra a while back, 20 days to be exact! In that post I told about Lord Rama and his victory over the evil. The story and celebrations don't end there. Lord Rama along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana comes back home after 14 years of banishment and since then that day is celebrated by Hindus all over the world as Diwali. It is also known as the festival of lights and is celebrated with an evening full of fireworks and diyas.
Apart from celebrating the festival we are also here to celebrate a big day for one of our friends. Another reason for a party! So I and my friend were discussing the menu for the party over the phone and she wanted everything to be Indian and suggested we make Gajar Halwa for dessert. She said it doesn't get any homey and traditional Indian than Gajar Halwa! I have not met a single Indian or an Indian food lover who doesn't like Gajar Halwa and my mom-in-law prabably makes the best halwa in the world!
Like a few of my mom's and my mom-in-law's recipes Gajar Halwa is something which I had to try and fail for a zillion times until I got to the exact taste. So I thought of sharing another family recipe with all you loved ones and let you enjoy it while I'm enjoying a warm bowl full here in this cold weather.
Grated carrot - 1 pound
2 tbsp - Ghee (clarified butter)
1 cup whole milk
7 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup of any nuts (I used almond flakes and cashews)
Heat a large pan, add ghee and fry the nuts in it. As soon as they are little brown take them out and set aside.
Now add the grated carrots into the pan with remaining ghee. Cook it for a minute and then add milk.
Mix it well, turn down the heat to low and let it simmer until carrots are half cooked. Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Now add condensed milk and stir it all well together. (I personally don't like anything very sweet so if I find my carrots sweet enough after adding sweetened condensed milk then I don't add any more sugar, but if you like it sweet then go ahead and add sugar now.)
By this time milk must have completely evaporated. Now stir the mix every couple minutes scratching the sides and bottom if anything's sticking and let it cook until carrots are cooked.
You will notice that carrots would change color and get darker and when there's no extra liqiud seeping out except some oil/ghee that's when your halwa is cooked.
Turn the heat off and try not to cover it for a while.
Wish you all a happy Diwali!
Posted by Prerna at 11:25 AM