Carrot Fudge ( Gajar Ki Barfi) – Recipe


Summer is fast approaching in North India and the winter vegetables are disappearing from the markets. Fortunately the red juicy local carrots are still sweet to eat and readily available. I love sweets and carrot halwa is one of my all time favorite winter dessert but this time I wanted to do something different. After the success of besan burfi I decided to make carrot barfi. Barfi is mainly made from milk, ghee and sugar and has a lot of variations like kaju barfi, badam barfi, besan barfi and coconut burfi etc. The carrot and doodhi (bottle gourd) burfis are nutritious and have a delicious taste.

This particular soft burfi (fudge) is low on fat and sugar as the carrots were naturally sweet and barfi usually takes less ghee (clarified butter) than the traditional halwa.  Carrots are packed with nutrition and are full of vitamin A and antioxidants. Totally a powerfood.  Full of flavor and goodness of carrots this classic sweet is simple and easy to make.

We will need – 

Carrots – 1/2 kg

Sugar- 1 cup ( you can add sugar to taste depending on the sweetness of the carrots)

Ghee ( Clarified Butter) – 4 table spoon full

Green Cardamom Powder – 1 teaspoon

Raisins – 4 table spoons

Shredded Almonds – 4 tablespoons

Milk (Full Cream) – 1/2 Kg

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Method –

Select carrots which are thin and have less of yellow central part. I use the red local carrots and not the English ones but you can choose the ones available in your market.

Wash, peel and grate the carrots.

In a heavy bottom pan heat the milk and when it comes to boil add the grated carrots.

Let it boil for a minute then put it on simmer.

Let the mixture cook till it thickens and the milk is nicely absorbed. Slow cooking will turn the milk into khoya like texture so there won’t be any need for adding khoya.

Once all the milk is absorbed add sugar and continue to stir to avoid burning the mixture. Keep the heat at medium to low. The sugar will make the mixture a bit liquidy so let all the water evaporate.

Once the mixture is free of all liquid add ghee and stir. Let it cook in ghee at slow heat till the mixture starts to leave ghee from the sides.

At this point add cardamom powder, half of the shredded almonds and the raisins. Stir them well.

Take a tray or small cake tin and line it with foil or grease it properly.

Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture into the tray or tin. Smoothen it properly and sprinkle the remaining shredded almonds on top for garnish.

Let it set for at least two to three hours. You can keep the tray in the fridge too.

Once the mixture is set properly cut it into the desired shape ( square, rectangle or diamond ).

Remove the pieces on to a plate and serve. Unlike the halwa the burfi is eaten cold. You can add shredded pistachios or put silver vark if desired.

The beautiful and delicious orange-red burfi is ready to eat.

ps- The slideshow doesn’t show pictures in order . Sorry about that. Do follow the steps in the recipe. 🙂

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Life is Short. Eat Dessert First – An Early Thanksgiving Post


I love this quote by Jacques Torres and I love desserts. I find cooking therapeutic. A sublime blissful experience that provides nourishment and satiation not just to the body but also to the mind. A great relaxant and stimulant at the same time. There is something very life affirming about feeding yourself or someone else a good meal and no meal is complete without a dessert. Be it an apple pie or an apple kalakand :D.

I am not a food blogger or a food photographer but I am a lover and cooking is like love-making. No fear, no guilt, no shortcuts. It is about improvisation, exploration, impulsiveness and discovery. When I am in the kitchen I feel like a high priestess doing her rituals or dispensing happiness. Each creation is a love potion. Something that can satiate at many levels. The memory of an amazing meal like an amazing sex stays with you and has you craving for it days after. It makes you forget everything.

Cooking like writing is a stress buster for me. I met a friend one day long time ago and she said,” never be too far away from chocolate if you want to de-stress.” I love dark chocolates and readily incorporated the advice in my life. I also began experimenting with desserts beyond the usual Indian mithais learned and perfected with great attention and care. There were times I would yearn for something  and the growing state of arousal and powerful sense of urgency  would make me rush to the nearest mithai shop.

Sangeeta Khanna is a friend and a top level food Indiblogger based in Delhi. I have yet to see someone so passionate about food, nutrition and healthy living. Her blogs are a feast for eye and mind and her recipes simple, healthy and easy to make. What I love about her writing is the honest down to earth approach and encouragement to use local, indigenous ingredients. Something not everybody does and that too with so much research and knowledge. She is very open to queries and suggestions too. There is something for everyone on her three blogs.

So, one day I was dealing with a lot of emotional and mental stress and sulking and killing time on FB when I across the yumilicious photographs of  Sugar free healthy Apple Kalakand. In an instant I felt the urge to create something as exotic as this came over me and I hopped to Sangeeta’s Blog healthfood desivideshi to learn the recipe. I wasn’t surprised that it was a quick to make guilt free dessert and I could magically create in 20 minutes flat. I went and got the luscious golden apples and made my first batch of Apple Kalakand. The result was unbelievable. I have yet to try the one with fresh figs. Another fruit I love.

Here is the recipe link of her blog and the Photograph of my Apple Kalakand.

Apple Kalakand for Diwali – Sangeeta Khanna 


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I used green cardamom and cinnamon as flavors in the two batches of Apple kalakand I made and both tasted heavenly. As a foodie I can tell you it was one of the best things I have had in recent times and then I got hooked to her blog and found more gems in the treasure box.

I couldn’t wait to try the 3 minute wonder – Red Carrot Halwa. I love gajar ka halwa and make with both with red and black carrots every winter. It is a traditional recipe perfected with time and a true labor of love as it takes a lot of time. I do not use khoya or condensed milk ( no short cuts you see) and make it with full cream milk. It is a slow process in which slowly the milk thickens into khoya like granules. The taste is out of the world of course. Here is my recipe – Traditional Gajar Halwa  . I love these nutritious recipes for Indian desserts. Halwas, pinnies, laddoos ( click for my recipes) which are perfect for winters and make a lot of variations of these. They can be made and stored in fridge or in airtight boxes  but what happens when you have a craving suddenly? You rush to Sangeeta’s blog and voilà! you find a  fat free, sugar free healthy version of your favorite gajar halwa and that too ready to eat in 3 minutes flat. Life of a food lover is all about such blessings. Although she says the halwa tastes exactly like the traditional one I was skeptical and wanted to judge for myself.

I just finished the bowl full of it and trust me sometimes we are in mood for long love-making  but other times we are all about quickies. This was one hell of a orgasmic experience that gave me a deliriously heady effect. All those weight watchers, diabetics, health freaks go for this right away. Indulge like never before. Leave out sugar if you are not supposed to eat it , leave out ghee if you are conscious eater but I can afford both so like Sangeeta I added a heaped teaspoon of sugar and a tablespoon of ghee to it. 😀

Here is the recipe link and the photograph of my creation.

One carrot – One bowl – Three minutes – by Sangeeta Khanna 

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You can make this halwa in 3 minutes or so with Sweet potato, bottle gourd , pumpkin, carrots, beetroot or anything exotic you want to experiment with. Add dates instead of sugar, add nuts, add anything that goes well and suits your mood , don’t forget to add a little love  and gratitude for those are the secret ingredient in all these recipes.

Here are the links to all the three blogs she manages

Healthfood desivideshi ( healthy, nutritious recipes, personalized diet plans, nutrition tips and much more)

 Banaras Ka Khana ( for those who love the old world charm and the good old recipes handed down from generations to generations)

Ayurveda on my plate  (trust her for some tried and tested remedies)

Do join her FB Blog pages to stay updated.

I had wanted to feature her on my blog since long time to show my gratitude and love for the work she is doing in this field and for who she is, a loving, generous, compassionate friend.

Please leave a link on her blog if you try any of her or mine recipes and give her a feedback.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Eat well. Stay Healthy. 

 

Recipe – Traditional Carrot Halwa


I am a sucker for seasonal produce and ruby red carrots flood the vegetable markets during winter. Sweet and full of healthy nutrients these carrots are not just good as raw salad can also used for making Carrot Pickle ( my recipe)  ,  carrot cake , carrot halwa, carrot barfi , carrot preserve (murraba) / paysam and can be cooked and mixed in variety of way in vegetables/ stews / soups/ pulao / vegetable biryani/ avial etc. I recently had carrot parathas with home made butter and trust me they were out of the world. Do you know how beneficial is the juice of carrots? find out  in my post Carrot Juice Benefits .

Carrot halwa is one of the favorite sweet dishes all across Northern India and is made in variety of ways these days. This Indian Carrot pudding is one of the main sweet dishes on any festival, wedding or other celebrations. With Khoya ( similar to ricotta cheese but lower in moisture and made with milk instead of whey) , condense milk, sugar-free and easy microwave carrot halwa are also popular these days. but

All Indian desserts are time-consuming labor of love. All across the plains of North India you will find pipping hot carrot halwa and hot gulab jamun in every sweet shop all through winter. Most of these shops use khoya which makes the halwa richer. I prefer to make it traditionally in full cream milk over slow fire and the result is a gorgeous deep red aromatic halwa with  a divine taste of thickened milk. Making halwa in milk also helps it carrots to retain their flavor which is usually masked when khoya is used.

The traditional carrot halwa is definitely is not a dish for dieters.  Rich in Vitamin A, proteins, carbohydrates and fat it is  nutritious and filling winter dessert.

I make two types of carrot halwa – one with red carrots and the other with black( deep purple carrots which are usually not used for halwa).

Black Carrot Halwa

Black Carrot Halwa

Today I want to share recipe for Red carrot Halwa  or gajar ka halwa perfected over the years in my kitchen.  This halwa can be kept in an air tight container in fridge for more than a month.

Ingredients :

Red Carrots – 1 Kg

Full Cream Milk – 1 Kg

Ghee ( Clarified Butter) – 1/2 cup

Mixture of dry fruits – I cup ( raisins, blanched shredded almonds, broken cashew nuts etc. )

Green Cardamom – 6

Sugar –  1 cup ( according to taste) ( the amount of  sugar depends on sweetness of the carrot too)

Method: 

Choose medium size thin red carrots. These will have thinner yellow middle part which we discard while grating for halwa .

Wash, peel and grate them from the larger side of grater so they retain their texture after cooking.

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Take a heavy bottom pan or wok and place in on medium flame.

Heat full cream milk and add grated carrots to it when milk begins to simmer.

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Let it simmer on low flame after first boil. Keep stirring in between so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Let it cook till all the milk gets evaporated.

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Once the milk dried up add sugar and mix properly. Keep the flame on medium and keep stirring as at this point the mixture will have tendency to stick to bottom.

The sugar will make the mixture lose water so turn the flame to low and let the water evaporate. The mixture will also get  a gorgeous deep color and aroma by this time.

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Now that the mixture is almost dry and has started leaving the sides add ghee ( clarified butter).

Keep stirring it till the mixture is nicely roasted It will have a deep red color by now and will smell heavenly of thick milk, sugar and carrot.

Once the ghee leaves the sides and the mixture gets a crispy yet moist texture add crushed cardamoms and slowly the magical fragrance of the spice will begin to blend in with the sweetness of the dish.

Some people stir fry the nuts before adding but I add them in their natural form. Raisins should be soaked for a while before adding.

Turn off the flame and remove the dessert in a serving plate or bowl. Carrot halwa is meant to be eaten hot. Sometimes just for a change I put a dollop of vanilla ice cream on the side. The hot and cold of these two favorites is a great combination.

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Enjoy one of the finest and most loved Indian desserts. Try it in your kitchen and share it with loved ones. Do let me know if you relished this winter treat.

Bon Appetit