I am a world traveller & a mom of two, (8 & 6). I love to meet people, and am fascinated that there are 7 billion stories out there to be explored. I think Melbourne is the most happening city to live in with all the fun activities around town.
Published May 25th 2013
Orange-coloured Halwa, anyone?
You may or may not have tried Halwa before (also spelled as Halva/Helva) or at least wondered what it is. "Halwa" literally translates to "Sweet" or "Confectionery". The word traces its origin to the Arabic language, but is now widely used in English to describe dense confections that are cooked with milk and oil, using sugar, syrup and/or honey to sweeten it.
This article will provide a recipe for home-made Carrot Halwa, a favourite during winter months in India and Pakistan. It is easy to make (a little time-consuming though) and turns out spoon-licking delicious.
2 kg carrots (peeled and grated) 1 cup sugar 2 liters milk (full cream or lite - doesn't matter) 1/4 cup oil 1/2 tsp of cardamom seeds 1/4 cup almonds and/or pistachios (peeled and sliced) few drops (about 5-6) of "kewra" essence (There is no English name for kewra, but this is an extract that is distilled from the pandanus flowers. Usually used to provide flavours for meat, drinks, and desserts. Easily available from Indian Market) - If you do not have kewra, the halwa will taste great even without it
Ingredients for Carrot Halwa
Probably the most important "Ingredient" in this recipe is a heavy-based pot to cook the halwa in.
Start with cooking, on medium flame, the grated carrots in the milk and add the cardamom seeds. Let the milk soften the carrots, and cook to a point where the milk is evaporated. This is the longest part of cooking (about 2 hours).
Carrots cooking in milk
Add sugar and oil. Cook till all the milk has evaporated and the carrot mix has become clumpy. Increase the flame to medium-high. At this step, you will need a good non-stick spoon to make sure the mix does not stick to the pot, so keep stirring till the oil separates (about 30-45 minutes).
Almost ready - this is the "clumpy
Add the almonds and/or pistachios (you can even add sultanas or grated coconut if you have the taste for it). Add the kewra drops at this time for fragrance.
Ready to serve
Serve the halwa warm or cold as dessert or accompaniment to tea/coffee. Appropriate for Vegetarians. Makes about 20 small-sized servings. (Cost: about $12-$15).
Can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks, or freeze small portions to microwave at a later time and extend the enjoyment all through winter.