I decided to make carrot halwa for my 250th post for two reasons - one, I dont make too many Indian sweets, and two, this recipe comes from my friend KiwiGee, in New Zealand. I'd pestered her for more recipes to try, and she sent me some. Of course what happened was that I sat firmly on those recipes, waiting for an opportunity to make them, in the meantime making her wonder if I'd forgotten! But then she sent a completely unsolicited recipe - for carrot halwa, and I decided that would be the perfect way to salute both my milestone and her contribution.
This is the first time I've made carrot halwa and I found the recipe very easy. It's also fairly quick to make, plus the ingredients are easily available abroad. A boon for those who arent close to Indian shops.
I made two slight changes to the recipe - one, I halved the quantity. One kilo of carrots would have been way too much! As it turned out, even half a kilo was a lot. And two, I added golden raisins along with the cashews. Carrots are just MADE to go with raisins (or possibly the other way around... whatever). And the halwa was gorgeous. Dont take my word for it, try it and see for yourself.
Recipe for: Kiwi Gee's carrot halwa
1/2 kg fresh carrots (washed and grated)
1 tbsp ghee
Clove, cardamom powder (1/2 tsp)
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk (I used Nestle Light)
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
Cashews - 10
Golden raisins - about 20
1. Put the ghee in a kadai and fry the cashews and raisins till they go light brown.
2. In the ghee remaining in the pan, add the grated carrot in and keep ‘frying’ until all the ‘liquid’ in the carrot has evaporated and it is almost cooked (the carrots will change colour from bright orange to pale yellowish-orange - see photo below).
3. Then add in the ricotta cheese (if in India, you’d be adding maava, but unfortunately we are in NZ - or the UK) and keep turning the mixture on low flame.
Mix well and cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes, mashing the carrots a bit.
4. When the cheese is well mixed, add condensed milk (this has to be the sweetened variety, as we are not adding any sugar, remember).
5. Cook for a further couple of minutes (or till the mixture turns thick - it shouldnt be runny) and then add the clove/cardamom powder and then turn off the hob.
6. Decorate with cashews and then, what else, eat!
From start to finish, should not take more than half an hour (if you already have the carrot grated, that is)!!