Gajjar means carrot in the Urdu language and Halwa means sweet. It's a popular South Asian dessert made during special events like weddings or holidays. Something that's quite easy just takes some time, as the carrots need to cook slowly in a delicious sweet milk until its thickened to a porridge or pudding like consistency.
Think of a deconstructed carrot cake but with a South Asian twist!
So lets get started on one of my favorite childhood desserts that has really no set recipe but is full of flavor and the plus? It's Gluten Free and I don't use any refined sugar!
2 to 3 cups Shredded Carrots
1/2 cup Ghee (Clarified Butter)
2 to 2.5 cups Milk (or enough to just cover the carrots)
3 to 4 Green Cardamom Pods
4 to 5 strands Saffron
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
3 to 4 tbsp Agave
1/2 cup Dehydrated Ricotta/ Khoya (Click here for the recipe)Crushed Pistachios (for garnish)
Add all your ingredients to a pot EXCEPT the dehydrated ricotta and pistachios.
You want to make sure you put in enough liquid (milk) to submerge the carrots. You may need more or less depending on your amount of carrots.
Stir and bring the ingredients to a boil then continue to simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. This may take 2 to 3 hours. Just let it cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon so the carrots can infuse all the flavor and tenderize.
I promise once its cooked it will be worth it!
After 2 to 3 hours you will see the liquid is fully absorbed and the carrots have cooked down to a porridge/oatmeal like consistency.
At this point you want to taste for sweetness and see if its to your desired taste.
Now this step is optional but once you check for sweetness and if the carrots are cooked through, you can stir in 1/2 your dehydrated ricotta cheese.
This will add to the richness and depth of flavor.
Finally dish it out and garnish with the remaining dehydrated ricotta (it acts as the cream cheese frosting on the cake!) and some crushed pistachios. Enjoy it warm or cold, whichever way, its sure to be a treat!
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for upto a week or freeze in a reusable bag for up to a month. Pull out, defrost and heat through before serving. :)
Be sure to check out my Lauki (cucuzza) Ka Halwa made in a similar manor!