Halwa is a general term for desserts in the Middle East through South Asia. There are many types; some are flour based and more like a sweet, and some, like this, are vegetable based and more like a pudding. I really love using something unexpected (at least in the west) like carrots as a dessert. Well, we do have carrot cake…but cardamom-spiced carrot pudding? That’s a new treat.
Traditionally this is made with sugar, but I like to substitute honey wherever I can. It’s a little healthier and adds a gentle layer to the flavor.
Gajar ka Halwa
2 tbsp ghee or butter
4 cardamom pods, cracked
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup milk
2 tbsp honey
chopped pistachios for garnish
Warm the ghee and cardamom pods over medium heat until the ghee is melted. Add carrots and cook gently, stirring, until they soften (they should already be pretty soft in the first place after being shredded). Add milk and cook, stirring, until the mixture is moist but not soupy. Stir in honey and remove from heat.
Serve garnished with pistachios. You can also use chopped almonds or cashews, but I love how the green nuts look against the sunny carrots. Usually this is served warm, but it’s also good room temp or even straight from the fridge.