Popular Indian Dessert : Low Calorie Gaajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Dessert)
There is only one difference between a long life and a good dinner: that, in the dinner, the sweets come last.
---Robert Louis Stevenson
Please rate my Carrot dessert or Gajaar ka halwa recipe.
Gaajar ka halwa : A popular Indian dessert, suitable for winter season.
Anyone, who has been to India, must have heard about this delicious recipe or sweet dish. It is one of the most popular Indian Desert. It’s simple to prepare and so delicious and nutritious. It is served as a dessert at festivals, weddings, parties and just any kind of celebrations.
Although, carrots can be found all round the year, but winter carrots are the most juicy and sweet.
The uniqueness of the dessert, is that it is served hot and secondly, although being a dessert, it can be prepared without adding any sugar, due to the natural sweetness of the carrots.
As such, it can be safely consumed by diabetic people too, or any other calorie conscious people.
Prepare it as a low calorie dessert:
Normally at festivals, a good amount of pure ghee and khoya or thickened milk, is added to the gaajar halwa, which definitely makes it a very rich and high calorie food.
This of course tastes delicious, but here I have not used much ghee and no khoya at all, to keep the recipe low in calorie and high in nutrition.
Health Benefits of Carrots:
We all know the health benefits of carrots. It is rich in Vitamin A, which is good for the eyesight, and it also has fibre and antioxidants, such as Beta Carotene.
Therefore, it is easier to feed this dessert to the children, for their nutritional requirements, by means of this healthy dish, which they like very much.
- 500 grams. Fresh carrots, grated
- 1 litre milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons pure ghee or unsalted butter or refined cooking oil
- 10 almonds, chopped
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 4-5 green cardamoms, powdered
- 1 sheet silver foil, optional
- 10 cashew nuts, broken into two
- Lots of LOVE and Patience
Preparations and the method
- Select the carrots carefully. The ones which are firm, smooth, bright in their orange colour and are generally straight. They should not be cracked or broken. Their heads should be intact and leafy. Wash the carrots thoroughly, then grate them. Assemble the dried fruits and powder the green cardamom.
- Place one deep, thick bottomed pan of at least 2 to 3 liters capacity, on medium flame. Pour the milk into the pan and bring it to boil. Normally full cream milk is used to make this recipe, but I have used double toned or low fat milk here. Add grated carrots and reduce the flame to minimum heat.
- Let the mixture cook on low flame, till the whole milk is reduced or evaporated. Keep on stirring occasionally. Add sugar and pure ghee or any refined cooking oil. You will find that the mixture gets a gloss. Keep on stirring the entire mixture.
- Add the raisins, cashew nuts, almonds and the green cardamom powder. Keep turning the mixture for another 5 minutes. Decorate with lightly fried almonds and silver foil( optional). Serve hot.
- This recipe is best prepared on low flame. This will bring out the nice, glossy texture, which will not happen, if cooked on a fast cooking mode such as the Microwave or Pressure cooker.
Some interesting facts about carrots
- Carrots were grown for medicinal purposes earlier, for it’s rich nutritional value.
- Through historical documents and the paintings, it is believed that carrots originated some 5000 years ago.
- When we think of carrots, an orange colour appears in mind. But carrots are white, red, yellow and even purple.
- Carrots are an excellent source of Vitamin A. It can provide 200% of your daily requirement of this vital Vitamin.
- The deeper orange colour means, more of beta-carotene it contains.
Will you try preparing the delicious and nutritious, Carrot halwa?
The health benefits of carrots
We all know about the many health benefits of carrots.
- It contains high amount of Vitamin A and C and dietary fibre.
- Carrots are low in calories and beneficial for the eye health
- Carrots can be consumed in many ways, such as juice, soup, salads etc.
- It is advisible to include carrots, in the daily diet of the growing children.
- Children love the taste of carrot halwa and what better way to feed them the healthy carrots in this way!
- Another way to include carrots in the diet is in the carrot cake. Grated carrots can be added along with some cinnamon powder to bake a wonderful, nutritious and aromatic cake.
Carrot halwa recipe, source: YouTube
© 2013 Chitrangada Sharan