Hello and welcome to my new series on the joys of a Mumbai Winter.
Yesterday my Facebook page announced the official beginning of Winter. Of course this was pertaining to the US of A (whose shores I just left early this month). In India Winter has officially begun on Sharad Purnima or 15th October of this year. But I found a kilo of fresh carrots that inspired me to make my all time Winter favourite – Gajar Halwa or carrot halwa.
One of the things we Mumbaikars love from Delhi are the carrots that invade our markets only in Winter. This distinctly red, succulent root vegetable is delicious raw but even more delicious when made into a halwa or traditional sweet.
- 1 kg fresh Delhi carrot. This works out to 5 heaped cups
- 4 tablespoons ghee
- 4 cloves
- 6 green cardamom coarsely crushed and skin removed
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 5-6 strands of saffron
- 1 teaspoon of almond slivers
- Wash and peel the carrots. Pat dry and coarsely grate and keep aside.
- In a pressure pan or heavy bottomed pan, heat the ghee and add the cloves and cardamom.
- Add the grated carrot and stir well. Cover the pan and allow the pressure to build. Turn off the heat and allow the carrot to simmer for 10 minutes or so. They should be just tender to the touch and not overcooked.Alternatively, the carrots can be cooked in a tightly covered heavy bottomed pan so that the carrots sweat in their own juice.
- While the carrots are being done, dissolve the sugar in the water in another pan. Bring to the boil and add some strands of saffron. Take care not to over cook the syrup. It should be of single string consistency.
- When the carrots have cooked, add the sugar syrup and continue cooking till the sugar syrup is absorbed. By this time the halwa will have a nice glossy look.
- Sprinkle the slivered almonds on top.
This halwa is traditionally made with milk solid (khoa) but I prefer not to use it as I feel this hampers the colour and look. Instead I prefer to serve it with vanilla ice cream or a generous dollop of whipped cream!
If you are a coffee lover like me, you will always be on the lookout for a place that serves the best coffee in town. Out of towners find it hard to pin point which place is good. A rule of thumb would be to visit the place that is most crowded but very often, we don’t really know if it is the best or not. So for visitors to JAIPUR, this is a good tip from the one who knows Jaipur like the back of his hand.
Which is the best place in Jaipur for freshly brewed coffee? Curious Life Coffee Roasters deviates from other cafes in Jaipur to deliver perfect coffee.
I never knew how wonderful fruit and vegetable sculptures could be till I saw a brilliant display at my grandson’s nursery school yesterday.
Turtles made with kiwi are simply amazing as are the Penguins made from long aubergine.
Equally creative is the crocodile made from the bitter gourd and the herd of sheep made from cauliflower.
Truly these mothers are creative and talented.
Don’t you agree this is amazing?