Holding my little hand, my dad would lead me to the halwai shop (sweet meat shop) egging me on to buy whatever I wished to. There used to be so many options to select from that I invariably used to get confused – what to leave and what to choose. Though the carrot fudge was never my first choice but its bright colours used to entice me the most.
He would encourage me to buy it. It was dad’s favourite! He would know all the while that I would only eat a piece or two and the rest of the bounty would be his! My dad has a major sweet tooth. Even two helpings of a dessert are not enough for him. While attending a party or a marriage function, he heads straight to the dessert counter first and has his meal later, a concept which I fail to understand even now J
Deep red in colour, crunchy, juice and delicious…Indian carrots are irresistible to me, still. Although nowI love the carrot fudge more than I used to. With its red (not deep in my recipe though since I added my own twist to it) and white colours this dish looked like a perfect Indian treat for Christmas! Only the green is missing and I tried using pistachio to compensate it but it didn’t seem to have worked successfully…
The one little twist that I gave to this classic north Indian dessert is addition of vermicelli to it. You can omit if you wish to.
Here are the measurements:
1 kg carrots
½ cup vermicelli (I used roasted one)
½ litre Full Fat Milk (I used 6%)
½ – ¾ C Jaggery (adjust amount to taste) or any sweetener of your choice
¾ tsp powdered green cardamom
2 tbsp ghee (you can be generous with it if you wish to)
400 grams Mawa / Khoya (reduced solidified milk)
2 tbsp Almond slivers (optional)
2 tbsp finely chopped, Pistachio (optional)
1 tbsp raisins, soaked in water for 30 minutes (optional)
Prepare a 9 inch square baking tin and line it with parchment paper. Grease the paper. Keep this aside.
Half-cook the vermicelli in 3 cups of water and drain the water
Peel, wash and shred the carrots.
Pressure-cook the carrots with 2 tsp of sweetener. Do not any water while pressure cooking.
Once the pressure cooker lets out one pressure whistle, release rest of the pressure, voluntarily. Release the cover once you have let out all the pressure from the cooker.
In a heavy bottom pot, bring milk to boil and add the carrots.
You can cook them on low flame, stirring occasionally till all the milk is absorbed by the carrots. OR you can cook them on high heat, stirring continuously, till all the milk is absorbed. (I cooked on medium flame, stirring every 5 minutes)
Add the sugar, vermicelli, cardamom powder and ghee and cook till all visible moisture has evaporated.
Add half the chopped almonds and pistachio and all the raisins.
Remove from heat and transfer the contents in the prepared tin. Using a spatula or a spoon, spread the contents evenly in the pan.
Press and smoothen the top with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
While the carrots are cooling in the tin, prepare the mawa.
Heat a wok or a pan and add shredded or crumbled mawa into it. Cook on medium-low heat till the mawa just begins to attain some color (it took me approximately 5 or 6 minutes). Add a tablespoon or two sweetener to it. If the mawa gets dry, add some milk and cook on low flame again.
Transfer and spread the mawa over the carrots, that are cooling in the tin, and spread it evenly.
Sprinkle over the left over chopped nuts and press them down gently with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
Once the contents are cool, cover with a cling wrap (ensure that the cling wrap touches the contents) and refrigerator the fudge in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Once the fudge is set, carefully remove it from the tin and slice it in desired shape. I always prefer square pieces.
Note: Total cooking time was approx. 1½ hours.
Note: Taste the carrots and adjust the sweetness according to your taste. We prefer less sugar in our desserts.
Note: Add less sugar to the mawa and then check for sweetness. Adjust the sweetness keeping in mind the sweetness of the carrots.
Note: Feel free to stir in the roasted mawa into the carrots instead of spreading it over the top. You can add the mawa to the carrots at the point where the sugar is added to the carrots.
Makes approx. 16 square pieces (as shown in picture)
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