One of the most exciting and mouth-watering winter treat that people look forward to in India as the winter approaches is Gajar Ka Halwa. The dessert made with red grated carrots, milk or mawa, nuts and ghee doesn’t need a lot of ingredients but a little bit of your time and patience in order for it to turn out perfectly.
A great combo of health and nutrition, one can easily make a healthier version of the halwa by replacing sugar with jaggery if suffering from diabetes.
Eating seasonal fruits and veggies is a wellness trend that has been approved by most nutritionists these days. So, this winter you have every excuse to gorge on the super-tasty Gajar Ka Halwa as it is something which perfectly fits the bill of seasonal delights.
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“As carrot is seasonal so it is always good to include more seasonal foods in your diet. Carrots are a good source of vitamin A, C and fibre. Vitamin A is important for vision, good skin, immune system and a great source of antioxidants,” says Shruti Bharadwaj, Senior Clinical Dietician, Narayana Hrudayalaya Multispeciality Hospital Ahmedabad.
While may people eat carrots raw by including them in salads or drinking carrot juice in winters, cooked carrots have their own set of benefits. “Carrot contain a compound called beta carotenes. The red orange pigment is found in fruits and vegetables. When we cook carrot our body can better absorb beta carotenes compared to its raw form,” says Bharadwaj.
The milk in Gajar ka halwa adds to the nutritional value of the dessert with its protein and calcium content. Milk also improves bone density and prevents “porous bone” condition, a symptom of osteoporosis.
Adding a dash of ghee could also give addition benefits as it helps promote healthy skin and strengthen bones. This super ingredient is packed with amino acids and antioxidants.
Amit Kocharekar, Executive Chef at The Resort Mumbai shares a delicious recipe of Gajar Ka Halwa.
Gajar Ka Halwa
1 kg carrot
1 1/2 liter milk
5-7 tbsp ghee
5-7 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp almonds, shredded
* Peel and grate the carrots.
* Simmer in milk with the cardamom until liquid evaporates.
* Heat ghee in a heavy pan and add the carrot mixture.
* Cook over a gentle flame for 10-15 minutes.
* Stir in sugar and continue cooking until the halwa turns deep reddish colour.
* Stir in dried fruit and serve.