Traditional Punjabi desert made with purple carrots milk sugar and ghee
Purple carrots have almost disappeared from India, and I have never seen them in United States. So we will use regular carrots. Carrots are peeled or scraped, and grated very coarse. I will deviate from traditions as follows:
1. I will pre-cook the carrots in a microwave oven. If you don't have a microwave oven cook carrots in 2½ cups of milk till tender and most of the milk has evaporated.
2. Normally, Daan-e-daar (Granular) Khoya is used. This is not readily available in United States. One may use various emulations. For this recipe, I will use Ricotta Cheese. If you have Daan-e-daar (Granular) Khoya, use ½ Cup Khoya.
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Gajar Halwa Microwave - Low fat low sugar
Baked Carrot Halwa Cake
1. Carrots grated coarse packed: 3 Cups
2. Ghee: ½ cup
3. Whole Ricotta Cheese: 1 Cup
4. Whole Dried Milk: 1 Cup
5. Milk: ¼ Cup
6. Sugar: 1 Cup
7. Cardamom seeds/ground: ½ teaspoon
8. Split Cashews: ¼ Cup
9. Sliced Almonds: ¼ Cup
10. Shave Pistachios: ¼ Cup
11. Kewra (Screwpine extract): ½ Tablespoon
1. Put grated carrots in a microwave proof dish. Cover with plastic film. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes on high. Set aside.
2. Heat Ghee in a heavy bottom pan. We will do all our cooking in this pan. Fry Cashews and Almonds till golden. Remove the nuts with a slotted spoon. Set Nuts aside.
3. Mix Ricotta cheese and Dried milk. Fry till almost all the moisture is gone and the cheese just starts to turn brown. Add cooked carrots. Stir well. Cook 2 minutes.
4. Add milk, sugar and cardamom seed. Stir. Cook till almost all the moisture is gone. It is a soft dough. It will take about 10 minutes. Shut off heat.
5. Mix in Cashews, Almonds, Pistachios and Kewra.
6. Transfer the mixture into a pan and let it cool to room temperature. Place it in the refrigerator. After two hours cut it as squares and serve.
NOTE: You can freeze it. Fill Plastic bag. Let out air and tie it. Put it in another plastic bag and tie it. Defrost the bag in the refrigerator overnight.