Another winter treat I look forward to is Gajar Halwa. Winter, because it is best made of those fat red carrots from Delhi that flood the vegetable market this time of the year. They are tender, rich and juicy. I don’t know what other recipes they go into. In my cookery book, Gajar Halwa is the best.
You can, of course, make Gajar Halwa from the smaller orange carrots available round the year. But those are not fibrous enough. They are also stringy and hard. The Gajar Halwa they make is a poor, disappointing cousin. Stick to the winter carrots from Delhi if you are a true red-blooded Gajar Halwa person like me.
The recipe is available on the Net. Go for a slow cooking one. And whatever you do, don’t make your Gajar Halwa in the microwave. Some foods are meant to be waited for and savoured. Also avoid processed ingredients like Condensed Milk and Khoya to give your Gajar Halwa a rich, milky flavour and creamy texture.
I am talking like I make it at home every weekend. I don’t need to. Sweet shops sell the most delicious Gajar Halwa in December and January. Its season is not the Mumbai winter which is a couple of days between Christmas and New Year. But the long, cold, biting winter of the North when these carrots are available.
My family look for Gajar Halwa made of jaggery. Not sugar. Jaggery is the healthier, low calorie version. Though the milk in the recipe is full fat. Otherwise even, carrots are a detoxifying food, and ghee and cardamom are not bad to consume. I’m not saying you will lose weight. You won’t gain extra pounds with Gajjar Halwa. Go for it. Happy Gajar Winter.