26 April 2013

Flash Gaajar Halva

The traditional version of this recipe involves large quantities of dairy, huge tubs of sugar, and ages of time spent in boiling, reducing, and stirring, along with plenty of anxiety about not burning the whole mess. This version takes about ten minutes or so. My friends Anjali and Rehmah were at my house, eating lunch. Someone mentioned sweets of some sort, and Rehmah instantly got a craving for some kind of sweet. I didn't have much else in the house, so I knocked this version out very quickly, both to calm Rehmah's cravings, and to make sure that Anjali got to taste some too (as she was about to head out for a hot date that night).

The name was not my idea. It was Rehmah's.

For the record, you had a Pakistani lady (Rehmah) and a Punjabi lady (Anjali) who loved how the dish turned out. That's how I knew it was a keeper.

1 pound carrots, grated
1 TB neutral flavoured oil (peanut, canola, corn)
2 cardamom pods, crushed
3 TB granulated sugar
1 1/2 TB cornstarch
2 cups coconut milk

In a pot, combine the carrots, oil, and cardamom. Sautee the carrots over high heat, until they are softened. While the carrots cook, whisk together the cornstarch and the coconut milk.

Once the carrots are softened, add the sugar, and stir it through. The sugar will melt rather quickly, and get caramelised. The carrots will turn a slightly darker colour too. This is what you want to happen, so don't worry when it happens.

Once the sugar is caramelised and lightly browned, add the coconut milk and cornstarch mixture. Bring the liquid to a full rushing boil, and continue to boil for one minute with constant stirring. Turn off the heat, and allow to cool down to room temperature before serving.