Friday, March 23, 2012

Gajar ka Halwa ( Sweet Carrot Pudding)

Halwa is a word used to describe many types of dense sweet confections. There are a lot many different types of Halwa that can be made like flour based ( See my whole wheat halwa recipe), nut based, veggies like squash (Yes! You read it right! See recipe here), carrot (gajar) based....recipe of which I am going to share with you today.

Gajar Halwa is one of the most famous desserts made in North India typically during the winter times because that's when you get carrots in India. Those red carrots are just so delicious and has natural sweet taste. This is the first time I made gajar halwa and I wasn't sure if the halwa made from orange carrots is going to taste as delicious as the one made from red carrots. To my surprise, it came out so delicious and you can't even tell that its made from orange carrots. The color of cooked halwa came out so rich and beautiful too!

For Gajar halwa, carrots are cooked on medium low flame in the milk until they soak up all the milk and then added to it is sugar, nuts, cardamom powder, khoya, ghee and cooked some more and the result is this delicious rich pudding.

Here is the delicious recipe (Click here for the printable version)

6 cups-shredded carrots (Peel and wash before shredding)
3 cups-whole milk
1 1/2 cup-sugar
1/2 cup-khoya (divided)
4 tbsp- ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
15-20- raisins ( soak in water for 30 min)
chopped almonds and cashews

1. In a thick bottomed pan, heat 2 tbsp of ghee and add the carrots. Cook carrots while stirring for about 10 min. The color of carrots will start to change. It will look pale.
2. Add the milk and let the carrots cook in milk on medium-low flame while stirring occasionally until the milk is reduced to half the quantity.
3. Add sugar and 1/4 cup of khoya at this point and let it cook, this time until all the liquid is soaked up.
4. Once all the liquid is soaked, add the 2 tbsp of ghee, raisins, almonds, cashews and cook it while stirring occasionally until the ghee starts to leave the sides. You will see that the color of the pudding will turn darker in color.
5. Switch of the gas and mix in the cardamom powder.

Garnish with rest of the khoya and serve warm.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Choco Vanilla Biscotti

Would it be wise to say that biscotti is man's best friend? Well....I think this statement holds true for the man of my life :) He loves biscotti's and that's the reason I keep baking them and try different flavors every time. As you can see, this time I baked the Choco-Vanilla and it turned out as a big hit with my husband.

Here is the recipe (Click here for the printable version)

1 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs cocoa powder
1 tbsp milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, sieve together the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. Using the whisk attachment of your electric mixer, beat eggs till they are fluffy. Stir in the vanilla essence.
3. Add in the sugar and butter and beat at medium speed until it’s well mixed.
4. Now change to the paddle attachment and slowly add the flour mixture and beat it on medium speed.
5. Now dip your hands in some flour (as dough will be sticky to handle) and transfer half the batter to the greased cookie sheet/baking sheet.
6. Now add the cocoa powder and 1 tbsp of milk in the rest half of the batter and mix with light hands using a spatula.
7. Transfer chocolate batter on the side of vanilla batter, overlapping it. Now shape the dough into a log of 12 inches long and approx 3 inches wide.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until it is firm to touch. (Log will spread during baking)
9. Take it out and let it cool for 10 minutes.
10. On a cutting board cut the log crosswise on the diagonal into 3/4 inch (2 cm) slices. 
11.Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet, cut side down and bake for 10 minutes on each side, or until they are pale golden. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

 Dunk in your favorite cup of coffee and enjoy!

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