Black Carrot Halwa – The way the sweet and soft but chewy grated carrots, cooked in ghee combine with the crunch of the nuts and the delicate taste of khoya – it is just heaven served in a bowl!
When I spot black carrots, it means the complete end of winter for me. I slowly start getting worried about fact that Summer’s going to be here soon and the kitchen is going to so get too hot to cook, soon. But what it also means is that Holi is just around the corner! No Holi in our household has ever been complete without black carrot halwa and of course the traditional kanji hich is made at home to mark the true end of Winter.
So these black carrots, like you already might know, are a variant of the classic orange ones. Although these carrots are little-known in the West, they’ve always been used to prepare lots of delicious recipes in India and also China.
The truly best part about black carrots though, is that they are chock-a-block full of antioxidants, and black carrots, just like dark red grapes, are brilliant for the cardiovascular system – basically, very very good for your heart.
Did you know that Gajar Halwa dates back to the Mughal times? Yes, really, the word ‘halwa’ means sweet in Arabic. And Carrot Halwa or Gajar Ka Halwa has been a part of our lives including Bollywood movies since time immmemorial. Who can forget the traditional ma saying “Beta, yeh dekho, gajar ka halwa, maine apne haathon se banaaya hai.” (Son, see, I’ve made this carrot halwa with my own hands!) And who can blame us for never forgetting it? This rich decadent dessert is just as filling as a Mother’s love, as filmi as it sounds!
The recipe for Black Carrot Halwa has been around for centuries, and used to be made quite often in the olden days. Somewhere along the way, maybe because black carrots aren’t that easily available, the regular carrot halwa started becoming the norm.
The way the sweet and soft but chewy grated carrots, cooked in ghee combine with the crunch of the nuts and the delicate taste of khoya – it is just heaven served in a bowl! And when the aromas, especially the combination of ghee and cardamom and khoya, hit you and slowly start wafting around the house when you start making this delectable dish, is simply amazing. My other favourite smell, of course is the one of freshly-baked bread.
Although I love eating this carrot halwa warm, there are lots of people who like it with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream as well. Remember, whether you’re making this for your kids and family at home or for guests coming over, make sure you make a little extra and save it for yourself – trust me, it will disappear even before you realize it’s gone!
Without further ado, here’s the recipe –