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If you are in North India, winters are synonymous with gajar ka halva. I got to know this fact only after I came to stay in this part of the country 14 years ago. Not that I did not know of this sweet dish made of the healthy carrots but loaded with calories, but the cult status it enjoys in the region was kind of a surprise to me.

gajar ka halwa

gajar ka halwa

My mother used to put in great efforts to cook this dish. Grating the carrots was a must, because nobody at home liked the taste when it was cooked the easy way, by boiling and mashing the carrots. She would use all sorts of goodies to give it that heavenly taste.
A bowl of hot and tasty ghee-dripping gajar ka halva generously laden with dry fruits is all you need on a freezing cold day. The day I made the dish some days back was incidentally the season’s coldest day in Delhi.
Here goes my recipe of the winter beauty.

Food for thought: Gajar ka halva

Ingredients:

Carrots: 1 kg

Sugar: 1/2 cups

Condensed milk: 1/2 tin

Milk: 1/2 litre

Khoya (Mawa): 200 grams

Cardamom: 4-5

Cashew & raisins: 1/2 cup

Ghee (clarified butter): 4 tablespoons

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Preparations: Grate the carrots and keep it aside. In a pan, heat ghee and fry the carrots till the ghee separates. The ghee will turn orange. Pour the milk and cook the carrots till done. Add sugar, condensed milk, khoya, cardamom and the dry fruits and cook till you get the desired consistency.

20140129-015017.jpgLast words: My secret ingredient in the dish was two teaspoons full of almond-saffron milk powder. And yes, I used a bit of food colour too, though that is absolutely optional.