Usually one makes carrot halwa with the regular red carrots which we get in India in winters. In Awadhi cuisine we get a mention of Kali Gajar ka halwa or black carrot halwa. Very few sweet shops in Lucknow like Radheylal do make this halwa. This halwa is made traditionally without milk. Here a recipe is being given which is different from the traditional one – it uses milk, gur or jaggery in place of sugar and spices.
Kali Gajar (Black carrot) – 500 grams
Condensed Milk – 1/2 tin of milkmaid or Amul Mithai mate (around 200 gms)
Gur or Jaggery – around 20 gms (it can be reduced or increased depending on the sweetness you want)
Cardamom (Choti Iliachi) – 5-6 pods
Cinnamon – 1 stick of 1/2 inch
Cloves – 4-5
Cashew Nut – 10-15 pieces
Almond – 15-20 pieces
Raisins – 20-30 pieces
Ghee (Clarified Butter) – 3 large tablespoons
Cream – 50 gms
Boil / steam the carrots till they are mushy soft (without any additional water). Mash the carrots in a bowl with hands. Now chop almonds and cashew nuts. Keep aside 1/4 of the nuts for garnishing. In mortar and pestle grind the spices into coarse powder. (In case you don’t have a mortar and pestle dry grind the spices in a grinder). I prefer mortar and pestle as it maintains the flavour and the taste of the spices. Now in a non stick pan, add ghee. Once the ghee is hot, add the coarsely ground spices and roast for 1-2 minutes. Now add mashed carrots in the pan. Keep mixing regularly, so that the heat reaches evenly. After around 6-7 minutes, you would see a glazing over the carrot mash. Now add condensed milk to the mash and keep mixing. In 5-6 minutes the milk would mix evenly and the colour of the mash would now be a dark purple. Add jaggery to the mash and mix. After 5 minutes add the nuts and the raisins. Keep mixing till the carrot mix starts leaving the sides of the pan. Now add cream and mix. After 4-5 minutes, take off the pan from the heat.
The halwa is ready. You can serve it hot or cold. Garnish the halwa with nuts.
This halwa can be kept for 5-6 days.
This halwa has a very mild sweet spicy caramel taste.