February is known as the month of love, a time for letting those around you know how much you care! And isn’t food one of the ideal ways to show your love to someone you care for ? So this month will be a ride through some of our cherished family recipes, those that some of my loved ones, & me often make in our homes to express our love for one another.
So let’s begin this special month on a sweet note!
Winters always call for special vegetables & seasonal sweet treats, of which one of the most awaited & favourite ones is made with the red carrot that comes in from North India. And what better way to wind up a lovely cosy meal & evening than to serve a classic Indian dessert, the creamy n hugely popular Gajar Halwa or Carrot Pudding. Today I bring you Gajar Paak or Caramelized Carrot Fudge, a slight variant to the same dessert.
Filled with the goodness of the freshest red carrots, large dollops of ghee, nutritious, assorted dry fruits & some full cream milk to bring it all in, this dessert is sure to melt your hearts away!
While Gajar paak is similar to Gajar Halwa (pudding) in texture, here the carrots are slow cooked in full cream milk a little longer, until all of the moisture evaporates, then set in a tray to give you a richer, creamier and more luscious dessert, scrumptious flaming squares that say pick-me-up!
Don’t you worry about a little extra ghee in your tummy, it is believed to have a lot of goodness & especially advised by alternate medicine or Ayurveda doctors’ during winters for various reasons. It is also supposed to be completely lactose free, easier to consume for those with dairy sensitivity.
An ideal way of showing your love for those you care! Sinful, rich indulgence!
Recipe for Gajar Paak – Caramelised Carrot Fudge
Ingredients (Serves 6 -10 persons)
- 4 tablespoons ghee / clarified butter
- 500 grams fresh red carrots, grated
- 250 ml full cream milk / 100 grams milk powder
- 5-6 tablespoons / 100 grams sugar, or as per your taste
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom / elaichi powder (nutmeg powder also works)
- 2 tablespoons fine slivers almonds & pistachios / badam for garnish
- In a large heavy bottomed saucepan/ kadhai, heat the ghee and stir in the grated carrot.
- Sauté well for 5-6 minutes on medium heat until the colour changes and carrot shrinks.
- Add in all of the sugar and mix well till the sugar melts and thickens.
- Add in milk and stir well.
- Boil for 5-7 minutes or till the carrot turns soft.
- Continue to stir until the milk reduces completely and thickens.
- Ensure there are no lumps formed and that it separates from the pan.
- Add ¼ tsp cardamom /nutmeg powder and mix well.
- Transfer the prepared mixture into a greased plate lined with baking/parchment paper.
- Set well to form a block.
- Garnish on top with few chopped almonds & pistachio slivers and press slightly.
- Allow to cool & set for 30 minutes, or till it sets completely.
- Now keep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes then unmould and cut into square pieces.
- You can also use milk powder or milk solids as a substitute for milk if you do not wish to spend too much time on reducing the milk down.
Making of Gajar Paak