Last weekend Latifs' cousin had come over for lunch and I wanted to make a nice Indian dessert as I rarely make them. Usually I just bake a cake or something but this time wanted to try something new. So I decided to tackle gajar ka halwa and off we went to the supermarket to buy carrots. I picked up a 1 kg bag and asked my hubby if it was enough and he responded "meri izzat nikalogi kya?' (you will embarrass me or what?). Buy 2 kgs he said. So I went home and grated the carrots in the food processor (or rather made him do it hehehe). When I put the grated carrots in the pot the quantity was so much that I was not even able to stir it. After a long (read LOOOOOOOOOONG) time the carrots finally cooked and reduced in size. While searching for a recipe I came across so many different methods and recipes that I decided to wing it. I added my own quantities and came up with this. This is not the dry halwa with lots of ghee. Rather it is soft, sweet and fresher. All I know is that it tastes great!
2 Kg Carrots (peeled, washed and grated)
1 Cup Ghee (Clarified Butter)
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Cup Condensed Milk
2 Cups Sugar*
1/2 Cup Dry Milk Powder (e.g Nido) - Optional
Dry fruits for Garnish (Almonds, Pistachios, Cashew nuts etc - Peeled and Sliced)
Heat the ghee in a big pot and add the carrots. Saute them on medium heat till mixed well with the ghee.
Add the milk and cook them on low heat till all the milk is absorbed and the carrots are fully cooked. The carrots will leave their water and they should be cooked till all the water has dried out.
Once the liquid has dried, add the sugar and condensed milk. Cover and cook on low till all the condensed milk is absorbed. Taste and adjust sweetness by adding more sugar if required.
Place the milk powder all over the top gently using a teaspoon and cover with lid. After sometime the milk powder will solidify (This replicates mawa, if you cannot find it). Mix and garnish with dry fruits. Serve hot or cold.
* The amount of sugar you use depends on how sweet you like it. Start by adding half a cup, mix, taste and gradually add more.