Winter has arrived in India and so have the winter carrots. Only during these few cooler months we get these long, sweet, bright pink roots. These carrots are a lot sweeter than the ones available all year round and are much in demand now. The most favourite comfort food to make with them is Carrot Halwa. Halwa is a dessert that could be made with anything from wheat to mung bean to bottle gourd. It is usually a dessert in the form of a thick paste or shredded vegetable or fruit.
The traditional style of making carrot halwa is to boil cow’s milk for hours with sugar and carrots till it is reduced to only the fat. But there is an easier and super-healthy way to make this and you don’t need to feel guilty after polishing off your bowl!
- ½ kg Winter Carrots (about 9 long carrots)
- ¾ cup or less jaggery/ palm sugar/ agave
- ½ cup Cashews
- 2 pods of Cardamom or a pinch of cardamom powder
- A pinch of dried ginger powder
- Slivered Almonds and whole raisins to garnish (optional)
- Scrape the carrots and cut the tops of the carrots. Cut them into 4 inch pieces. Steam the carrots for about 15 minutes till they are soft but firm to touch. They should be cooked all the way through.
- In the mean time, melt the jaggery or palm sugar with a teaspoon of water. If you already have a syrup you can omit the melting. Grind the cashews into a powder. Pound the whole cardamom till the skin splits and the pods are powdered. (The skin can be put into your sugar jar to get flavoured sugar)
- Once the carrots are done, shred them into a bowl. Add the jaggery syrup, cardamom, cashew powder and dried ginger powder. While adding the sweetener, keep checking till you get your desired level of sweetness. We like things really sweet here so you might not need the entire quantity. Garnish with raisins and slivers of almonds if you like.
- Store it in the refrigerator and serve warm or cold. You could even serve warm carrot halwa with some vanilla ice cream.
Serves 4 to 6