Vegan Gajar ka Halva! Is that even Possible? Well, yes, and the taste is the same warm, comforting delicious one as when made with the regular dairy milk and ghee.
As the cooler months approach, we crave the usual warming winter foods. And since turning my diet to Vegan over two years ago, I sorely missed the soothing and warming Gajar ka Halva. After my recent attempts at successfully making Atta halwa and Suji halwa, I decided to give Gajar ka Halva a try. And it turned out perfect—just like regular halwa! I would also like to add that another reason whyI wanted to try this out was because I found good quality pesticide free carrots in the organic section. Turning Vegan sharpens your senses and you can easily start to tell the difference in the purity of the food from the fragrance of the fruits and vegetables. These carrots had the fresh clean fragrance of carrots. It was the same fragrance I used to get from our home grown vegetables, back when I was living in India.
I also noticed something quite disturbing about the red carrots that are exported from India. I had bought a bunch of these brilliant looking red carrots a while back and used it to make a simple vegetable. The moment I added the washed cut carrots to the pan, I got a strong waft of something that smelt like pesticide or poison! For some reason, it triggered a memory as if it were rat poison which I smelt somewhere during my childhood years, I’m not sure where. Since then, I purchase only organic vegetables. It’s a huge expense buying organic vegetables here, but it is money well spent, as what could be more important than one’s health. So then, here is the recipe.
● Three large organic carrots grated (here, I got thick orange carrots)
● 1 cup sugar (you may only need 3/4 cup)
● Rice or almond milk (1 cup)
(The cup I refer to above is the same that you can see in the pic…so it’s really a small bowl but it’s the same one I used for measuring both sugar and milk)
● Coconut oil: 2 small karchi (as a replacement for ghee)
● Chopped almonds and cashews
Heat the coconut oil in a pan. When the oil is warm, add the grated carrots and cook for about 15 minutes. Stir and mix regularly as you don’t want the carrots to burn. Then add the sugar. I first added half a cup and mixed it but when I tasted the carrots it was quite bland so I added about more than1/4 cup and mixed again. This time, the taste of the carrots was perfect. Now add the milk. Add it slowly and mix well. Let this reduce naturally on a medium flame. When the milk is completely absorbed and the carrots have got that distinctive halwa look where it’s all combined together perfectly then you can turn off the flame. Add lots of almonds and cashew nuts and mix well. Serve the halwa hot, sprinkled with some more nuts! Hope you also make an effort to eat only pesticide free and healthy foods and also try some of our Indian delights in Vegan form.
Ms Aditi Pathak is based in Singapore. Widely travelled and from a Services background, cooking is one of her many passions.