This is my first Instructable in the food section, and I am happy to begin with 'Gajar ka Halva'. I wouldn't be bragging if I say it is the most favorite dessert in India!! And as a student living abroad, making home delicacies is a great way to celebrate festivals, cherish home memories and invite friends home for some fun..
I just made the halva last week and it turned out to be as good as Mom's recipe!
Also, for those who would want to try making some Indian dessert, there is nothing more easy and equally delicious than this! So read on and gear up for making some!
Just as we begin, for all those wondering what the name 'Gajar ka Halva' means, Gajar = Carrot (in Hindi) and Halva = common name given to a lotta Asian desserts. And since there are many many different kinds of them, I may fail to characterize them compared to other desserts, but there's a Wiki Page for all those curious about the Semantics !
- As most Indian desserts are, this one is a pure Vegetarian dessert.
- It requires super simple and few ingredients [Carrots, Milk, Sugar, Creme, Butter.. yes thats it!]
- Needless to say, it is super delicious!
- All it needs is a lil lil patience.. but believe me, it is all worth the wait!!
Step 1: What You Need
As mentioned in the previous step, the ingredients are too few and very common to find at home.
You need :
1) Carrots [I had 1 kilo, which prepares enough halwa for 6 people]
2) Sugar [1 cup : about 250 gms]
3) Milk [about 3.5 cups : about 600ml]
4) Creme [1 cup ]
5) Butter [2 spoons]
6) Dry fruits for garnishing(almonds,Cashew nuts) [optional]
* Magic Ingredient: Ghee
The quantities are proportional to each other. [ I am an intuitive cook [haha ;)], I dont measure things in exact proportions. The approximations add the magic to the taste! :D
But when trying a new recipe, ofcourse it is good to have an idea of the proportions of the items required until you are good at making the dish of your own taste! ]
And now lets talk about The Magic Ingredient Ghee (there are replacements to it, so dont freak! :) )
Ghee is highly reverent ingredient of the Indian household! It is the final product after many proceedings done on Milk! It is made at home and is similar to Butter, but not exactly the same. It is used in many culinary preparations (and has many other uses too). Fore more info, here's the link to a nice article on Wiki. (Someday, I may write an I'ble on preparing Ghee, if it ain't available yet)
If you do not live in India, use Butter instead. Should work equally well.
No more stories, lets begin.
Step 2: Tools and Vessels Needed
Generally, it is good to cook this dish in a pot of Aluminium.
Since the milk has to be boiled, it may get stuck at the bottom in case of other kinds of vessels.
I used two vessels of aluminium as I didn't have one huge vessel.
Apart from this, you would need a grating plate for grating the carrots. The bigger the plate, the faster u can grate. I didnt have the best plate right now.
Step 3: Preparation Step 1 : Grating
Put on some nice music and start grating all the carrots.
Ofcourse, while grating,dont forget to eat one of the those. Nothing beats the nutrition of Raw Carrots! :D
Step 4: Preparation Step 2: Gently Heat Carrots in Ghee/Butter
- Put the cooking Vessel on the stove at a low temperature.
- Add two spoons of Ghee/Butter and wait until it melts.
- After it has melted, put the grated carrots inside and mix gently.
Step 5: Preparation Step 3: Adding Milk & Creme
Once the butter/Ghee and Carrot mixture is homogenous, its time to add Milk.
The general rule is to add enough milk to submerge the carrots.
After adding milk, stir the mixture well. Add Creme.
Keep the temperature low.
You may now cover the vessel with a plate, leaving some gap for the steam to escape.
Step 6: Preparation Step 4: Stir and Wait and Stir and Wait..
Well, you have to wait until all the milk has boiled off.
But in the meanwhile, you need to keep stirring every 20 minutes or so, so that the carrots dont settle at the bottom.
Remember to keep the temperature low all the time. (No Haste! - is the secret to a great Halva! )
U can finish a lotta work in the meanwhile.. :)
Step 7: Preparation Step 5: Adding Sugar
Once the Milk is almost invisible, it is time to add sugar.
Adding Sugar will make the mixture a little fluidy, so wait until the sugar liquid is invisible.. :)
Step 8: Preparation Step 6: Almost Done
Once the sugar is mixed all well, and the mixture is a little denser, you are done!
I like to have almonds inside the dessert, so I added a few just at the end of the preparation.
Step 9: Done!
After that, you can garnish the dish with some more Almond slices or Cashew Nut pieces.
Halva tastes best when hot!
So grab your dessert bowls and indulge into the delicacy!
Try it and I hope you would like it! :)
Happy D.I.Y.ing folks!