Sunday, 26 January 2014

Gajjar Ka Halwa

 Gajjar ka halwa is an iconic part of winters in North India.

 Come the winter months and the market is flooded with bright red, sweet and juicy carrots....Delhi and Gajjar ka Halwa are synonomus such an extent that in all other parts of India the juicy red carrots of the winter months are sold as "Dillie ki Gajjar"

Winter in India also happens to coincide with the festive and wedding season. Growing up I have such fond memories of greedily eating bowl after bowl of Shaadi walla Gajjar ka Halwa at every single wedding.

No winter wedding up North is complete without Gajjar Ka halwa, Moong dal Halwa , Garam (hot) Jalebi and Kadhai walla Doodh ( Milk painstakingly cooked till it thickens in a cast iron wok)

The fact that this Halwa is seasonal because of the seasonal nature of the carrots (only available for 3-4 months of the year in the winter) makes me lust after it more so....

Ofcourse any carrots can be used but the winter carrots with their earthy sweetness and deep color result in the best halwa! Hence this fudgy sweet dessert with hints of cardamom and the creamy sweetness of milk/khoya can be best enjoyed in the winters!

Nothing and I mean nothing can warm your soul better on a winter night than a bowl of Gajjar ka Halwa!

I have tried making Gajjar ka Halwa on several occasions and made a mess of it.....I used to wonder what do I need to do differently for my halwa to have that perfect color and consistency this winter I decided to call all my Buajis and aunts and after putting together every single tip and trick they were generous enough to give me.....I am happy to say this recipe is now perfect!

Please watch my youtube video so you dont miss any of the little top secret steps :))

Its got the same  taste that only patient , loving  slow cooking roasting can impart.....and a beautiful color just like the Shaadi walla Gajjar ka Halwa  I have enjoyed growing up....

I hope you try this :)

Authentic Gajjar ka Halwa recipe that results in a deep red color halwa .

Carrots - 2 kgs washed, peeled and grated

Sugar 160-180 grams ( Regular Sugar)

Ghee 1 tablespoon

Dry fruits

Elaichi Powder - Optional

Khoya 120-150 grams

Add grated carrots to a dry heavy bottom Kadhai or wok. Cook covered with a plate for 20-25 minutes on very low flame.

Keep checking and stirring the carrot mixture at regular intervals even during these 20-25 minutes to make sure nothing burns.

Once the carrots have lost a lot of their moisture add the sugar. Once you add the sugar the carrots will leave still more moisture.

Cook covered for another 20- 25 minutes on low flame .Do not leave halwa unattended at this stage it needs constant care and stirring.

Once the carrot sugar mixture looks a little dried out add the ghee and dry fruits. Mix well to incorporate everything.

Next add the crumbled khoya. Once you add the khoya the halwa needs about 20 minutes of dry roasting .

When the halwa changes to a deep red color with no more white specks of the khoya showing , its ready.

Garnish with some more dry fruits and reward yourself for all the hard work with a bowl of halwa straight off the flame!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Morrocan Fruit Salad

Fresh mint and orange juice lift the flavors of an ordinary fruit salad to make it absolutely extra ordinary and very refreshing

No Fixed Quantities ....just cut up seasonal fruits....I used 

Grapes (slices in half)

I also added a few walnuts for crunch and texture

Dressing : Mix together orange juice a tiny dash of cinnamon and combine with chopped fresh mint leaves...mix well into the fruits!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Happy New Year 2014

                       May you shine brighter than ever before in 2014 
                        and may the Almighty grant you ,your every desire.