Carrot is a root vegetable originally grown in parts of Asia like Afghanistan and Iran mainly for its fragrant leaves and seeds. Back then, the root was not used much due to its bitter taste and woody texture. Quite different from what we eat today !! Thank God for advancements in agriculture, science and technology; we now not only have sweet juicy carrots to eat but they also come in varied colours….. red,yellow , orange, blue, purple, black, etc… feast to the eyes and to the stomach; I say !!
Carrots contain high quantities of beta carotene antioxidant, potassium, minerals, fiber and are a good source of vitamins like A,C, K and B6. They are widely used in varied cuisines around the world in sweet as well as savoury dishes. Eaten raw in salads or cooked to one’s desire. … Versatile and delicious carrot is a hero ingredient to add to your daily diet. Here are few of reasons why it should become part of your diet !!
1)Healthy Eyes – Lack of Vitamin A may lead to night blindness in adults and blindness in children. Beta carotene in carrots is absorbed in our intestine and converts into Vitamin A during digestion thereby providing us a valuable nutrient.
2)Increased Immunity – Vitamin C helps boost our immunity system. Vitamin C present in carrots help fight routine infections like Common cold. A hot bowl of carrot soup helps in reducing the severity and the length of time of the infection.
3)Anti – Cancer Effects – Due to presence of high antioxidant beta carotene, Carrots help lower the risk of various types of cancer by reducing free radicals in the body.
4)Regulates Blood Sugar & Pressure – The antioxidants and phytochemicals in carrots help regulate blood sugar. Fiber and Potassium protects against high blood pressure and heart disease.
After the science class, I bet we all are geared up to eat something made out of CARROTS ! I have convenient drifted toward the sweet side of the world of cuisines. Today we make Gajar Ka Halwa / Carrot Pudding. As the title says, you can actually make this dessert with just three simple easily found ingredients in your kitchen and its still going to taste fabulous ! I have added two more ingredients to my preparation considering my fussy and picky family but you can easily omit them and you will still have a star dish.
Tips – There ain’t any !! Seriously !! I have nothing to share … It is that simple !!
3 cups / 500 gms Red Carrots washed, peeled and grated
3/4 to 1 cup Sugar . I used 3/4 as we don’t like it too sweet.
2 Cups Full Fat Milk OR whatever you have at home.
If you wish to – Optional
1 tsp Cardamom Powder
3 Almonds blanched and chopped
3 cashews chopped
100 gms Mawa / Milk Solids
- In a heavy bottom pan, dry roast the carrots on medium flame. Sautee until they become soft.
- Add milk and let it cook. Colour of the carrots will keep changing through out the preparation.
- Cook until almost all the milk has evaporated.
- Add sugar. The consistency of the mix will again become runny like before because the sugar has melted.
- Cook the mixture until it becomes thick and no visible sugar water is present.
- You can now serve this as dessert as is or continue with the remaining recipe. I added mawa/koya into the mixture and cooked for another one minute while stirring continuously so koya becomes one with the mix.
- Shut the gas and garnish with chopped nuts. Serve it hot / warm or cold !!
Bon Appetit !!