My favorite lunchtime Indian restaurant buffet in Washington, D.C. includes a Carrot Halwa (Gajar Ka Halwa in Hindi) dessert as part of the buffet.  My children turned up their noses when I proposed to serve them *carrots* for dessert, but they stopped complaining when they gave it a taste. There are only 5 basic ingredients for this classic dessert sweet, so give it a try! Ingredients: 4 cups of peeled and grated carrots, about 500 grams 2 cups whole milk ¼ cup sugar 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee 1 pinch of cardamom powder for extra flavor, added just before serving – this is really important as it adds a lot of flavor Optional: 4 cashews or 1/8 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped and sprinkled on for garnish ¼ cup raisins, added with the sugar I have found that the hardest part of this Carrot Halwa recipe is to get the ratio of carrots to milk just right so that this dish is not too runny or dry.  Be sure to measure the carrots after peeling and grating them and pack them firmly in your measuring cup to get the right amount of carrots.  And when cooking the carrots, use a deep pot with a thick base so that the milk cooks away without scalding. First, bring the milk to a boil.  Then add the carrots and cook the milk down so nearly all the moisture is evaporated.  But don’t cook it all to dryness since things will start to burn. Then add the sugar and cook for another 2-4 minutes until the sugar is incorporated.  The sugar will release more moisture from the carrots so cook that must be mostly cooked away. Now add the butter or ghee and cook that moisture away as well, browning things just a little. Serve your Carrot Halwa warm or at room temperature with a pinch of cardamom powder and perhaps a garnish of cashew or pistachio if you like. Delicious – and just the right amount of subtle sweetness after a full meal!
Carrot Halwa - Gajar Ka Halwa
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