The childhood memories of winter seasons remind me of the comforting and delicious food which we used to have back then. Our’s was a tiny kitchen where mommy would cook so many great winter dishes and how we as kids would help her in doing small tasks such as stirring curries, flipping pancakes, washing and cleaning vegetables etc. We all would snuggly fit in the kitchen and spend almost two hours daily in that small space, because it used to be the warmest and coziest corner of hour house. We would spread a dhurrie on the floor and sit on it while momma used to sit on a high bench in the level to the kitchen platform. She used to cook and we used to help her and eat. Right when I am writing this out on the blog here, all of those sweet memories have come alive in front of my eyes and are making me nostalgic. We still have that old bench in our house but that is way too rickety and also mommy doesn’t cook much these days because of multiple illnesses and the old age. One of the quintessential dish of winters used to be Gajar Ka Halwa. Back then I didn’t like it’s taste that much. But for sure I used to love stirring it. Gajar ka halwa is one such recipe which takes a lot of time and patience. This used to be an excuse for staying in the warm kitchen longer than that on usual days. Those used to be small joy of life. But when I started living away from my parents, I started missing all those homely things. In fact I started liking Gajar ka halwa also…haha! So this year, I wanted to relive those memories again. I thought to make Gajar ka halwa on January 1st, but I couldn’t do that on time and I was too lazy. By the time, I realized, it was already a week passed into the new year. So then I decided to make this for Lohri and Makar Sankranti. These days, we don’t make Gajar ka halwa at home, as this requires a lot of time to be spent in the kitchen. So we prefer to buy it from the halwai. But then I thought about it and decided that I should at least pen down this family recipe of ours on the blog, so that it doesn’t get lost somewhere. And I am glad that I did that. Because when I had the first spoon of taste check, it took me back to the memory lanes of my childhood. Such goodness and such nostalgia this Gajar ka halwa brings along.
Gajar ka halwa
Gajar ka halwa
- 2 Kg Red Carrots Peeled and Grated
- 8 tbsp Ghee
- 8-10 Green Cardamom
- 750 ml full fat milk
- 1 pinch saffron
- 200 gm khoya/mawa grated
- 1/2 cup cashew nuts
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- chopped pistachio to garnish
- silver leaf to ganish
In large heavy bottom kadhai (wok) or pan, heat 4 tbsp of ghee. Add green cardamom and let fry for 1 minute on low heat.
Add grated carrots and saute on high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and let the carrots cook for 10 minutes on low flame. Keep stirring in between.
Add the milk and saffron and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer until milk is reduced to half.
Add the khoya/mawa and cashew nuts. Let simmer on low heat, until all the liquid is evaporated. Keep stirring in between.
Once the liquid has completely dried, add the sugar and mix well. Let simmer again on low heat until it dries out completely.
Add remaining 4 tbsp of ghee and let it cook for 8-10 minutes. Keep stirring continuously at this stage, otherwise it will start to burn. It should look very shiny and you should be able to see ghee on the sides of the halwa. Turn off the heat.
While serving, garnish with chopped pistachio and some silver leaf.