Gajar ka Halwa
A dairyfree version of the classic Indian dessert, Gajar Halwa or Carrot Halwa
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (divided)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds (other nuts like cashews and pistachios would work too)
- 4 packed cups carrots (about 1 1/2 pounds, grated coarsely. Use the grater with the largest holes.)
- 1 cups raw cashews
- 1 tsp cardamom powder (always use green cardamom for sweets)
- 1 cup sugar (alternatively use 1 cup of dates soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, then blended with part of the cashew milk you'll make for this recipe.)
Blend the cashews with 3 cups water into a very smooth milk/cream. If your blender isn't very powerful, soak the cashews in water for at least an hour first.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan, preferably nonstick. A wider pan will allow the liquid to thicken and evaporate more easily. Add the sliced almonds or any other nuts you are using. Saute them for a couple of minutes until they just begin to change color. Add the carrots and cardamom, saute a couple of minutes, then add the cashew milk. * (If using dates to sweeten, see notes below before adding all the milk).
Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until most of the milk has been absorbed into the cashews. This will take at least 15-20 minutes. If it's going too slow, increase the heat a bit but keep an eye on the carrots and stir them often because you don't want them to stick to the bottom.
Add the sugar and the remaining 1 tbsp oil and stir until it's well mixed and the sugar has dissolved.
At this stage, you can pretty much decide how much longer you want your halwa to cook -- taking it off the heat at this point will give you a more pudding-like texture, but you can continue to cook longer until the halwa pulls off the bottom and sides of the pan and there's absolutely no visible liquid. I like to cook the halwa to this stage, but it means some exercise for your arm, so be warned.
Once the halwa reaches the desired state of doneness, take if off the heat. You can eat the halwa warm or at room temperature or cold, it's delicious every way. Garnish with sliced almonds before serving, if you wish.
- If cooking with dates, soak the dates for 30 minutes in hot water, then blend into a very smooth paste with 1/2 cup of the cashew milk you'll be using. Add the date-cashew milk mixture to the pan at the same time as you add the rest of the cashew milk and continue cooking. Skip over the step in the recipe where you add sugar.
Calories: 178.98kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.35g | Protein: 3.24g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2.96g | Sodium: 1.78mg | Potassium: 112.96mg | Fiber: 1.13g | Sugar: 17.52g | Vitamin A: 55.69IU | Calcium: 19.71mg | Iron: 0.96mg