CARROT HALWA

 

This recipe originated when looking for something to do with a 10kg bag of carrots that I had bought. The donkey got what I didn’t use but I made a pretty good attempt at using them. I fermented some, made carrots with cumin, pureed them, roasted them, made carrot hummus, carrot and beetroot salad, a few different salads including Russian carrot salad and even made chips out of them.

This recipe has overtones of Indian sweets because of the cardamon, which I limited because I am not a big fan of Indian sweets. I have added and subtracted from the recipes I found on the net, so what I have come up with suits our taste.

I really like these for a bit of a sweet hit.

CARROT HALWA

Ingredients

  • 1½ kg carrots, wash and grate finely (or substitute 1/2 kg carrots for 1/2 kg sweet potato to give a bit more stickiness)
  • 8 cardamom pods, ground or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tin sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds or pistachios – chopped up a bit finer
  • ½ cup sultanas or goji berries
  • ¼ cup dessicated coconut
  • 50 g butter
  • extra powdered milk, water and sugar if necessary for taste or extra carrots
  • If it is taking longer than you have to dry out add theses extras until it is right: 1/2 cup sesame seeds, 1/2 cups desiccated coconut, 2 tbs coconut sugar, extra fruit, seeds and nuts.

Method

There is nothing much holding these together so I try to make the ingredients a bit finer if I am going to roll them into truffle shapes, if being left as a slice the ingredients can be left a bit larger but they will tend to fall apart if allowed to get too warm.

You have to cook the carrots for a long while, they need to be quite soft. To start this process off I microwave them for about 15 – 20 minutes with a little water so they are fairly well steamed.

Carrot mix reduced after 20 minutes in the microwave

Carrot mix reduced after 20 minutes in the microwave

The next stage is getting the moisture out of the mix.

Put the carrots, cardamom, sultanas and sweetened condensed milk into a skillet (to speed it up put the milk, nuts and fruit in first and heat it up while the carrots are cooking in the microwave)

Milk, nuts and fruit heating up

Milk, nuts and fruit heating up

and stir occasionally until the mix begins to dry out. Taste the mix at this stage, if it is not sweet enough (usually because you used more carrots than the recipe calls for) stir in some extra water, powdered milk and sugar and cook for a bit longer until it is incorporated, now stirring more regularly add the coconut to help absorb more of the moisture and lastly the nuts (a few sesame seeds would probably be good too) and stir in some butter at the end.

All together and drying out and thickening

All together and drying out and thickening

Remove from the heat and spread into a baking paper lined tray – about 1½ cm thick, pressing down to give it some body and put in the fridge.

Some people serve it warm with ice-cream, we like it cold as a snack – apart from the sugar content in the sweetened condensed milk it makes a pretty good snack food. I will try making it with coconut sugar or honey one day. It is really flexible.

For a bit of dazzle I have made them into balls and rolled them in coconut and stored them in the freezer. People think they are apricot balls because they are orange and don’t recognise the carrot at all.

 

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