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Carrots, figs and more

This winter, try out some tasty halwa variants


THE TRULY Indian gajar ka halwa may be ever-popular. But halwa is not just about carrots and khoya. There are several variations. Here are some recipes worth trying out. Tuck into these halwas in the coming winter months.

Moong dal ka seera

Ingredients:

Moong Dal - 2 cups
Khoya/mava - 2 cups
Milk - 3 cups
Sugar (Sugar to taste) - 1-1/2 cups
Ghee - cup
Chopped almonds and pistachios - cup
Ilaichi powder (cardamom) - 3 tsp
A few strands of saffron

Method: Soak the moong dal for about fivehours. Coarsely grind it using very little water. Warm the ghee in a kadai. Add the ground moong dal and stir-fry on a low flame till the mixture becomes yellowish brown. Crumble the khoya and add it to the above mixture.

Stir-fry again for about 20 minutes. Add the milk and sugar and keep on stirring until the ghee leaves the sides. The halwa should be of a smooth consistency.

Dissolve the saffron strands in one tablespoon milk.

Add it to the halwa along with the ilaichi (cardamom) powder. Mix well. Decorate with chopped almonds and pistachios and serve hot.

Carrot halwa

Ingredients:

Red carrots - 1 kg
Milk - litre
Khoya - 200 gm
Sugar - 200 gm
Pure ghee - 4 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1 tbsp
Chopped almonds and pistachios - 2 tbsp

Method: Peel and grate the carrots. Heat the ghee in a flat bottom kadai.

Add the grated carrots and stir on a low flame for 2-3 minutes. Heat the milk. Add it to the above mixture. Cook on a low flame till the milk is absorbed. Add sugar and cook on a low flame till the water is absorbed. The carrot mixture should leave the sides of the pan.

Roast the khoya in another kadai and add it to the above carrot mixture. Stir-fry for a few minutes, when the khoya mixes well with the carrot mixture, add the cardamom powder and chopped dry fruits. Serve hot.

Dry fruit halwa

Ingredients:

Almonds - 250 gm
Pistachios - 250 gm
Malai (made from full fat milk) - 250 gm
Khoya - 200 gm
Sugar - 450 gm
Saffron - 2 tsp
Cardamom powder - 2-3 tsp
Pure ghee - 200 gm
Rose water - 3 tsp

Method: Soak the almonds in water for 7-8 hours. Remove skin and blend in a mixer. Drain excess water. Soak the pistachios in water for about 8 hours. Remove skin. Blend in a mixer. Boil the milk and take out the malai. Heat the ghee in the kadai. Stir-fry the almonds on a low flame until light brown in colour.

Then add the pistachios and stir-fry until it is cooked. Now crumble the khoya. Add it to the above mixture. Stir-fry on a low flame for about 5 minutes. Then add the malai. Again stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Make the sugar syrup of 2-thread consistency. Add it to the above mixture. Mix well. Add the cardamom powder, saffron and rose water to the above halwa. Serve hot.

Dry figs halwa

Ingredients:

Dried figs - 250gm
Almonds - 1 cup
Ghee - 4 tbsp
Milk - 1 cup
Sugar to taste (about 3-4 tablespoons)
Cardamom powder - tsp

Method: Cook the figs in boiling water. When cool, puree it in a mixer. Soak the almonds in water for 7-8 hours. Peel and coarsely grind in a mixer. Heat the ghee in a kadai.

Stir-fry the almonds on a low flame for about 3-4 minutes. Then add the figs, milk, sugar and keep on stirring continuously. Add the cardamom powder and serve hot.

SUJATA MALANI

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