Carrot Halva Or Burfi 1 Made By Traditional Method
Gajar ka Halwa aur Barfi
This is a popular winter sweet dish in North India as carrots grow mainly in cold months. If you visit an Indian home during winters, chances are that you will be served this halva with a cup of tea. It is best served warm.
My mother used to make it from the 'desi', dark purple carrots, which gave it a very distinctive flavour and colour. However, any variety of carrots will do. You can spread it on a tray to cool and cut into square or diamond shaped burfies. Serves 6-8
1 kg. carrots
200-300 gm. sugar (adjust to taste)
50-60 gm. ghee
A few strands of saffron
1 tsp. cardamom powder
100 gm. chopped pistachio/almonds/cashews
50 gm. raisins. You can use dry blueberries if you don't like raisins or omit altogether.
Crumble or grate khoa coarsely. Keep aside
Wash, peel and grate carrots. Food processor is good for grating quickly.
Place carrots and in 1/4 cup of water in a pan, bring to boil and simmer until tender. This takes only 10 minutes or less. Carrots can be cooked quickly in a pressure, only 1 minute under full pressure. Or steam in a microwave, on full power, for 6-8 minutes. Carrots do not need to be mashed, just soft.
Drain water off from the carrots in a colander. Discard carrot water or use as stock.
Heat ghee in a wok or karahi and add cooked, drained carrots. Stir fry on high, until all remaining water evaporates and carrots look shiny. This should not take long, if carrots are well drained.
Add saffron, milk powder/khoa/condensed milk/cream and fry until thoroughly mixed.
Add sugar. Sugar melts, and releases more liquid. Stir fry again until all liquid evaporates and it begin to come off the pan. Turn heat off.
Add nuts, raisins and cardamoms, mix thoroughly. Pack in a bowl with lid or a box and keep in the fridge.
For serving, re-heat the amount required just before serving. This can be done in a frying pan or in a microwave for 1-3 minutes. Time and power will depend on the amount heated and the power used. One portion will roughly require 20 seconds on full heat.
To make Carrot Burfi, spread the halva on a greased tray and press to flatten and firm it. Sprinkle some chopped/shredded almonds/pistachio/cashew nuts on top, press gently again. Let it cool completely. Cut in to required sized squares or diamond shapes.
For diabetics, a sugar-free sweetener can be used instead of sugar, but add it after taking the pan off the fire.
The quantities of milk or khoya are only a rough guide, a little more or a little less will not make too much difference.