An easy recipe for a traditional Indian carrot-based dessert – a favourite across North Indian households.
- ½ kg carrots (preferably red carrots)
- 1 black cardamom, powdered
- 3 tablespoons almonds
- 3 tablespoons pistachios
- 100g khoya
- 150g sugar (about ¾ cup)
- 12-15 raisins (yellow)
- 6-8 strands saffron
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 3 green whole cardamom, powdered
- ¼ cup water
- Grate carrots. In a large wok, boil carrots with water and black cardamom. Cover and allow to steam on low heat for about 10 minutes until almost dry but moist.
- Meanwhile, soak almonds and pistachios in a little water for 10-15 minutes. Peel and thinly slice for garnish. Soak strands of saffron in milk.
- Once carrots are cooked, add khoya and sugar to mixture. Add raisins, saffron, and milk.
- Keep carrots uncovered on medium heat; allow water to dry stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
- Once water is dry keep stirring for 5-6 minutes until halwa leaves oil (this is ghee from khoya). Mix in the ¾ of the sliced nuts and powdered cardamom, and garnish with the remaining nut pieces.
Khoya is a dried milk product used in India. A good substitute is a cream that forms on non-homogenized milk. Another option is to use crème Fraiche, as it is high in butterfat. In either case, you will have to cook the halwa a bit longer, as there will be much more moisture in the cream than in khoya, which is a dry, dense dairy product. Or you can leave out the sugar and add condensed milk instead of khoya, but that gives a very strong condensed milk flavour, which doesn’t particularly appeal to me.