January 20: Winter demands a healthy dose of Gajar ka Halwa

What is winter if not enjoyed with the piping hot and healthy gajar ka halwa?Winter in North India is synonymous with fresh juicy vegetables and desserts. Now bring the two together and you have a winter-must — Gajar ka Halwa or carrot halwa.


There is no way winter can be allowed to pass without at least one sitting with this piping hot, creamy, fudgy yet healthy halwa. You read that right. This yummy dessert is healthier than eating the boring raw carrot salad. Carrots contain beta carotene (carotenoids) that are better absorbed by the body when cooked. So if you keep the ingredients right, you have a very healthy dessert on your plate.


What you’ll need:


Two cups of grated carrots (about half a kilogram). Use the red variety for a better flavour


Two tablespoons of ghee


A quarter cup of sugar (use stevia for a healthier version)


Half a cup unsweetened khoya


A cup of skimmed low-fat milk


A pinch of cardamom powder


Loads of roasted dry fruits for garnishing


Photo: Wikimedia Commons


How to:


In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat two teaspoons of ghee on medium flame and sauté the carrots for about five minutes.


Next, add the milk and let the carrots cook in it till the milk evaporates. Keep stirring else the milk will burn at the bottom and ruin the halwa.


Once the milk has evaporated and the carrots are cooked, add the sugar and khoya. Mix well. At this stage, the halwa will have a gooey consistency.


Add the remaining ghee and cook while stirring continuously till the halwa leaves the sides of the pan and is no longer gooey.


Add the cardamom powder and give it one final stir.


Remove from the stove and add the roasted dry fruits (a handful of pistachios, cashew nuts and almonds). You can also add a tablespoon of raisins.


Serve the Gajar ka Halwa piping hot

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