Indian-style Spiced Carrot Bars (Gajar Ka Halwa)

Indian-style Spiced Carrot Bars (Gajar Ka Halwa)
  • Yield:serves 6-8
  • Active time:1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour 10 minutes
This recipe appears in:
Cookie Monster: Indian-style Spiced Carrot Bars (Gajar Ka Halwa)

[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

This Indian sweet is made by cooking down grated carrots with milk, then slowly stir-frying them in oil. It's usually eaten garnished with chopped almonds, and raisins and clotted cream are also a nice accompaniment.

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup almonds (optional)
  • 4 pounds carrots, peeled then grated through the largest holes of a box grater
  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • Sliced almonds, clotted cream, fried raisins, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. 1.

    If using almonds (not just for garnish), heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1/4 cup almonds and cook, stirring and tossing frequently, until lightly golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Set aside.

  2. 2.

    Combine grated carrots, milk, and cardamom pods in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until all milk has evaporated, about 40 minutes.

  3. 3.

    When liquid has evaporated, add oil. Fry carrot mixture in oil, stirring constantly, until darkened to dark orange/brown in color, about 30 minutes. Add sugar and fried almonds if using. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Take off heat and let come to room temperature. Spread in a 8 x 8 -inch square pan or other pan of your choice, and cut into squares.

  4. 4.

    If not eating right away, store, covered, in refrigerator and bring back to room temperature before serving.

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