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I have some guests coming over tomorrow, so I decided to make gajar ka halwa (carrot sweet) after a long time. When I first got married, I made it often for AM, as they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach lol. Soon our girth started increasing at a faster rate than our love, so I stopped making sweetmeats. I love gajar halwa, especially when it is hot and crispy. Here is my mother’s recipe.

Carrots 1 kilogram, ghee (clarified butter) 3 tbsp, cardamom 2, cashewnuts 3-4, almonds 2-3, khoya/mawa 100 grams, whole milk 2 cups, sugar 6-7 tbsp.

Grate carrot. See the quantity in the photo below? Not that I am preparing for an Indian wedding, the carrots will shrink once I heat them. Grating them was a pain, I really need to fork up the money to buy a food processor.

Before grating, cut of both ends of the carrot and peel the carrots. To peel, place the carrot holding by the head in a plate, tilt the knife and slide the sharp edge tilted from top to borrom while moving the carrot round, run the knife on each portion while turning the carrot round. Its a very easy and fast process. See photo below. Basically you scrape off the outer area running the titled knife from top to bottom. Bear with me while I play the superwoman taking photos while cooking.

Now for grating. I used a manual grater. I recommend getting your husband to do this, a good way to build muscles!! But mine was napping, so I had to do this myself. Halfway through I was fretting using so many carrots!

Heat ghee. Add cardamom, sliced almonds and cashews and saute for a few seconds. Add grated carrot. Heat on medium to low flame till all the water escapes, stirring occasionally. Carrots give off water, so the mixture has to be heated till it feels dry. It will shrink as well. I am adding photos below, but I added more ghee than required in error, so its harder to tell whether the mixture is dry since ghee keeps it moist. I also didn’t get very good carrots. In India, the carrots are nice and red during season, these are orange and not as juicy.

After water escapes, add khoya and 2 cups of milk. Stir till all the milk is absorbed and khoya blended.

Add sugar. Mix well and heat till the sugar is absorbed, the halwa comes together in the pan. There are many variations. Some people use condensed milk instead of khoya. If using sweetened condensed milk, skip the sugar. I personally find condensed milk too sweet. Some people also replace sugar with jaggery. I love the halwa only with khoya, I tried without and its just not the same, its like eating sweet carrots.

If you want it crispy, let it heat some more and stir occasionally. Throughout the process medium to low flame is fine. Once the halwa is done, leave it out to cool. Garnish with cashews and almonds at the top, silver warq would also look good. Eat it hot or cold. I like it hot, not sure if the silver warq doesn’t work in the microwave. Enjoy!

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