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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Carrot Halwa " Gajrela "

In winter season Indian kitchens are full of life. And why not, winter is the season of food lovers. There are many Indian  winter recipes and one of them Carrot halwa or " Gajrela"as called in Northern India is a chartbuster . My niece specially requested this recipe and her wish is my command. So here it is. 

Carrot Halwa or Gajrela is made with two basic ingredients, yes you guessed correctly Carrot and Milk. This recipe originally belongs to my mother. This recipe is of homemade Gajrela made with ingredients available at home. It is healthy too. You can make it in batches as it can be stored for about fifteen days in the refrigerator. You can enjoy it every day of the season. It cooks slowly and takes about one and a half hours. Yes pretty long but worth the patience. Though there are quick methods also but believe me the slow cooking method takes the taste to the next level. After all it is Mom's recipe. Can't go wrong. 

As we all know carrots are full of nutrients. These are rich in beta - carotene , a compound which our body changes into Vitamin A. This keeps our eyes healthy and lowers the chances of cataract. 

Apart from this we add almonds, raisins and cashews which are again full of healthy nutrients and keep our body warm in winters. . " Gajrela " Is roasted with Pure Ghee which again is healthy according to Ayurveda. It boosts your metabolism, aids digestion and is good for eyesight too. 

There is enough reason now for us to make Carrot Halwa right now. Just forgot to mention that it is Super Tasty too. So let us start right away. 

We Need:

  • 1 Kg Red Carrots

  • 750 ml Whole Milk

  • 150 gm Sugar or to taste

  • 2 Cardamoms

  • 5 Tbsp Pure Ghee( 100 gms) 

  • 2 Tbsp Raisins

  • 10 to 12 Cashew Nuts. 

  • 1 Tbsp thinly sliced Almonds to garnish

Here We Go. :

  1. Peel and wash Carrots. Grate them with a medium grater. 

  2. Boil milk in a wide pan . When it starts boiling add grated Carrots. Mix it well. Keep the flame low. 

  3. Keep stirring so that the milk doesn't stick to the bottom. Also keep on scratching the sides of the pan thus removing the milk and carrots which stick to the sides of the vessel and mixing it again with the boiling milk and carrots. This residue is ' Khoya'... The thickened milk which enhances the taste of Carrot Halwa. The more you boil the milk, the more it will be thickened. The more taste is added to Carrot Halwa. 

  4. When the milk is fully absorbed by the carrots, add Sugar. Keep on stirring till the sugar is fully dissolved. The Sugar will leave some water when dissolved, dry up that water also. But continue stirring the " Gajrela" or carrot Halwa, otherwise it is more likely to stick to the bottom at this stage. 

  5. Heat Pure Ghee in a pan . Add dry fruits to this pan. Roast a little and pour it over Carrot Halwa aka Gajrela. 

  6. Now roast the Gajrela again for 10 minutes till everything binds together and it is of Halwa Consistency. Serve hot topped with sliced almonds. Enjoy this Hot and delicious Halwa in this cold weather. 

Preparation Time  20min
Cooking Time : 1 and a half hour to 2 hrs

Keep on scraching the sides of the pan and mix again in the milk. It has two benefits: firstly it will enhance the taste and secondly it will be easier to wash the pan. 
Roasting of Gajrela with ghee is very important as that creates the real taste and the consistency. 
Make Sure the Carrots are cooked before you add Sugar because after adding sugar the cooking process will stop and the Halwa will not taste that good. 

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