Sunday, January 17, 2010

Gajar Ka Halwa (and India)

I'm back! India was fascinating, beautiful. The food was delicious, not actually that spicy, and replete with butter. French cuisine has nothing on that of the Indians. Also, Valerie, I'm glad you got to drink chai. Go to India and you will consume gallons just from casual visits. I was staying with my friend's family members (and in India it seems as if everyone's a family member), so I didn't get too many photos of food. However, what I took, I'll post as I get them from my friend.

While maybe not providing many food photos, India did offer many ideas for Mini and Micro. For instance, the first dessert I had while in India was Gajar Ka Halwa. According to my friend, "halwa" applies to anything (usually a dessert) that is small bits, like a porridge . Gajar Ka Halwa uses carrot strips as these small pieces. Like most Indian desserts the basis is milk, butter, sugar, nuts, and cardamom.

Now as a caveat that the idea of making an Indian dish, something fairly revered, in the microwave is highly unorthodox. One can reheat in the microwave, but cooking in the microwave? near heresy.

Alright, so roughly off the recipe found at India Food Forever, I have put together a pretty decent Gajar KaHalwa recipe.
For two to three servings, you will need:
- two carrots
- a handful of pistachios, shelled, and cut up
- a handful of raisins
- pat of butter about 1"x1"x3/8"
- two tablespoons of sugar/to taste
- 4-6 cardamom seed pods
- milk enough to cover the carrots

First, soak the raisins in water, set them to the side for about 20 minutes. Now, after you peel the carrots, you're supposed to grate them. However, being with a grater in college, I got to cut up the carrots. If you're also in this position try to cut them very thinly; the thinner the slices the more delicate and flavorful the dessert will be.

Put the carrots in a bowl and pour the milk over it, OR, you can add some milk and some sweetened condensed milk (though, you may want to skimp on the sugar later). Microwave the carrots on high for 5 minutes or until the carrots are completely tender. Add the sugar, raisins, and pistachios. Microwave the mixture for another 2 minutes.

Crush the cardamom pods with the flat of a knife and add them to the bowl. Mix and let sit for about 10-15 minutes or until the flavor is as intense as desired. Take out the cardamom and drain any excess milk. If the carrots are still hot then add the butter and sugar to taste. Otherwise microwave and then add. Serve warm and omnom!!!

Oh! for Christmas I got a blender, so will be looking into recipes for that. Any ideas?


  1. Smoothies are absolutely a must. Ab. So. Lutely. Also, I've stumbled the recipe for one-ingredient banana ice cream several times so that might be worth exploring :D

  2. This blog is really informative; I have gone through all the posts.