Ah! Its a relief to be back to the blogging world.. I was under a self proclaimed break from writing as i thought i was addicted a tad too much to it.. But during the break (only 2 days!), i understood something.. My blog has become a very important part of my life.. Much more than i had imagined it to be..So here i am, back with a new, healthy and yummy recipe of Gajar ka Halwa..
Gajar ka Halwa has been a dessert i often made during the rather “unhealthy eating” phase of my life.. I call this dessert unhealthy because even though this dish is made of carrots and milk (healthy of course!), it also contains the addition of ghee and refined sugar (In cups!) which make it a not so good idea for me to indulge into.. This dessert is often made in the northern part of India where it is so cold that eating ghee laden sweets keeps them warm (or so i have heard!)..
But living in this super hot country of Qatar, where even drinking water can make you gain weight (no no.. i am not exaggerating!), i cannot afford to add ghee or sugar in my diet ( At least wherever possible!).. So, whats the option here? You may ask me.. Yes! I have found a really great alternative to sugar from this country itself.. Its the Dates!!!
Dates are a very healthy way to replace sugar in this halwa and you will surely not miss out the sweetness too.. To make it vegan, i have replaced cows milk by almond milk which is very healthy and equally tasty alternative..
I had found this recipe from a TV show Guilt Free which was aired in NDTV goodtimes and was one my favorite shows.. This show gave me many healthy alternatives to various refined ingredients and has been a great inspiration to my healthy cooking kitchen..
Anyhow, I am very happy to share this recipe with all of you.. Do try and enjoy this yummy dessert guilt free…
Health Benefits of Carrots: Contains Anti Oxidant nutrients, Cardiovascular benefits, Good for your vision, Anti Cancer Benefits..
Health Benefits of Almonds:Lower LDL Cholesterol and reduces risk of heart disease,Protection against Diabetes,Good for heart, Improves Blood fats, Lowers risk of weight gain, Rich in Protein..
Health Benefits of Dates: Rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, consuming them in adequate amounts provides relief from Constipation, Intestinal disorders, Heart problems, Anemia, Sexual dysfunction, Diarrhea and Abdominal cancer..
3 Cups Grated Carrots
1/2 Cup Almonds
10- 15 Dates/ To taste
(Depending on the natural sweetness of the carrots and dates & to your liking, you can add more or less..)
1 tsp Cardamom Powder
Raisins to taste
1. Soak the almonds overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours..
2. Peel off the skin.. It should come off easily..Keep 5-6 peeled almonds aside for garnishing..
3. Blend them with little water to a smooth paste..
4. For the milk, you could follow either of the two methods:
1. Sieve the paste using a muslin cloth and extract all the milk out of it..
2. Use the paste as it is..
I followed the second method as i did not want to waste the almonds.. This way the texture of the halwa comes out thick and feels like as though khoya has been added.. You can follow the first method if you want only the smoothness of grated carrots in your halwa..
5. Soak the dates in hot water for around 30 minutes… Keep it covered..
6. Heat a heavy bottomed pan and add the grated carrots and almond milk.. Mix well..
7. As soon as it comes to a boil, lower the flame to medium and allow the carrots to cook till the milk gets evaporated.. Keep stirring occasionally..
8. Grind the dates with the soaked water to a smooth paste..
Note: If the amount of paste is more than what you require for the halwa, store it in a air tight container in the fridge and it can serve as a replacement to sugar in other desserts as well..
10. Add Raisins and cardamom powder and keep mixing for 5 minutes..
Serve warm or chilled!
Note: You can also make this halwa with milk if you want..Start from step 6 substituting almond milk with milk..