Friday, November 5, 2010

Gajar Halwa (Carrot Pudding) for Diwali

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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 ...

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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.

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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.

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Ingredients:

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)

Method:

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.
Add nuts.
Turn the heat off and try not to cover it for a while.
Serve warm.

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Wish you all a happy Diwali!

34 comments:

  1. I love gajar halwa! yours look yummy too :) Happy diwali!

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  2. That halwa looks divine! Happy Diwali.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Looks lovely Prerna. I love the use of the molds for the halwa! Happy Diwali to you and your family.

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  4. I love carrot halwa..Happy Diwali to you and family prerna....

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  5. Awesome Carrot halwa ......
    Wish you a very happy Diwali n blessings for the lil angel

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  6. Wow these look incredible! Beautiful photos!

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  7. Do you press the finished pudding into the molds afterwards?

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  8. Gorgeous! I love the pictures (of course)!

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  9. Happy Diwali prerna. The halwa looks delicious :)

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  10. HAppy Diwali Prerna. My fav Halwa..the Halwa looks delish and so is ur pictures.

    Pavithra
    www.dishesfrommykitchen.com

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  11. Those are amazing pictures full of atmosphere. You are so talented Prerna! Have a wonderful weekend! :) Petra

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  12. I made Gajar ka halwa too Prerna...Infact this time I had beaten all my previous records by making Gulab Jamon, Peda, Khandvi, Chivda and nariyal ke laddoos. OMG !! I can't believe myself....;)
    Gorgeous pics again ! Keep it up and would love your visit to my blog too !!

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  13. This was one of my favorite dishes when I was in India two years ago and no restaurant has ever been able to come anywhere near recreating it... I never imagined I would be able to capture that dish in my own kitchen but I think your recipe just might do the trick! Thanks for sharing and Happy Diwali!

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  14. Thanks a lot everyone and wish you all a very happy Diwali!

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  15. What a fabulous looking little treat! I've never tried a carrot pudding. Saving this for sure!

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  16. Happy Diwali! I hope you are having a great time in San Francisco, the weather is much better than the briskness of New York right now.

    This carrot pudding looks really good! It must be nice and buttery with the ghee and condensed milk.

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  17. Happy Diwali! The carrot pudding is indeed interesting as a Diwali sweet treat.

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  18. Love that you used the mould... Lovely pictures and easy recipe Prerna. Hope u r having a great time in CA. Love to ur daughter and happy diwali to you and your family. Have a great year ahead.

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  19. Happy Diwali to you and the family!

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  20. Winters and gajar ka halwa are inseparable:-) Specially the one made with the long red carrots,love mine loaded with nuts, served with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream;-)

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  21. Happy Diwali! Was browsing through one of Meena Patak's cookbooks over the weekend and I stopped for several minutes at the recipe for carrot halwa - it sounds so delicious!

    You've done a beautiful job at capturing this dessert in your photographs - such a great idea to use a mold to form the pretty shapes.

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  22. beautiful photographs.... captured so well...:)

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  23. Your photos are always so colorful and beautiful: like India...

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  24. Thanks everyone! Try this recipe once and I'm sure you'll LOVE it. I do!
    And about the photos, I'm still learning but I'm so glad you are liking whatever I do :-)

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  25. One of my favorite halwas, and I do not make them as often as I end up eating most of it :-)..I also do not like mine too sweet or too creamy and do not use condense milk at all. just whole milk (but it takes way longer to cook).

    Sounds like you had a great time! Good for u.

    Hope you are feeling better now. being sick with a toddler is not an easy task. take it easy.

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  26. Not sure if my comments got through to you.

    The halwa looks delicious and I love the way you have used the moulds. I love your photographs too.

    Please share your recipe by sending it to the event I am running at:

    http://www.givemesomespice.com/2010/11/event-announcement-complete-my-thali.html

    It's for a good cause.

    Mina

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  27. Thanks for sharing the background to Diwali. I've been wondering about that recently but had yet to look it up. Glad you had such a wonderful trip despite the bumpy start. Gorgeous dessert and photos as usual, Prerna!

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  28. What a fabulous pudding....and Happy Diwali.

    I’d love for you to submit one of your beautiful photos, and a link to your post, to my vegetarian food photo gallery showcasing the best vegetarian dishes and recipes on the web. Feel free to submit any other vegetarian recipes too.

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  29. Great post! I’m looking to make some changes in my own eating habits, so I appreciate your insight a lot! Thank you. I recently stumbled upon this blog like I did yours and I thought your readers may appreciate it: http://burisonthecouch.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/food-for-thought/

    I’ve started to look for their stuff more regularly and I think I’m going to add your blog to my list as well. Thanks for the post!

    -Amy

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  30. I am so glad I happened to click on your blog link because I liked your blog name. You have an awesome blog here and is a treat to my eyes. I have been reading your posts for the last half hour.Nice!

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  31. I have tasted this in anIndian restaurant..and I am glad I found your page and recip..Hadia's Lebanese Cuisine

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  32. I cooked this forever and while the milk evaporated and it tasted good, it never deepened in colour or got that rich carmel-y taste. Suggestions? Should this have taken hours? Did I need more heat? Thanks!

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  33. I cannot wait to try this recipe! I suppose I could wing it but just want to clarify, as I'm not a very accomplished cook. :) In the ingredients list, you mention "2 tbsp - Ghee (clarified butter)". Then under instructions, you first say "add ghee and fry the nuts in it". Then you say "Now add the grated carrots into the pan with remaining ghee". I presume you mean using half the ghee for the nuts and the other half for the carrots?

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