Monday, August 3, 2009

It's finals week. Finals to end all finals, my very last class to be exact (at least for this degree). I've been staring at the computer screen for several hours. A numbing sense of lethargy overwhelms me when I can't think of anything more to write. Whenever my brain is mush, I turn to cooking. It's not exactly nihilist extremism, but it is a good distraction.

Stimulating new flavors like Gajar ka Halwa, Indian carrot cake, or carrot halva is an instant comforting equalizer. The fluffy sweetness brings a wonderful joy rushing happiness to my brain. Simple and delicious.

Ingredients for carrot halva:

1 kg Carrots
1 liter of Milk
1 teaspoon Cardamom seeds
3/4 cup Water
3 tablespoons Ghee (substitute with unsalted butter)
2 tablespoons Raisins
2 tablespoons Almonds
2 tablespoons Pistachios
450 grams Sugar ( I cut this and used agave syrup to substitute)

Preparation of carrot halwa :

* Wash and grate the carrots. Soak the raisins in water for 30 minutes. Blanch and shred the nuts.
* Put the water to boil, when it starts boiling add the grated carrots. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
* Add the milk. Cook on a low flame for 1 hour stirring occasionally. Add sugar, mix well and cook till the sugar has dissolved and all the milk has been absorbed.
* Add ghee and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the slightly crushed cardamoms and the raisins. Mix well.
* Remove the gajjar halwa from heat and arrange in a serving dish. Garnish with almonds and pistachios. Serve cold, hot or at room temperature.