Winter has officially arrived in Gujarat. Its still warm in the afternoons, but the evenings are pleasant. This is also time for the migratory birds to visit Gujarat and I am looking forward to go see those beautiful flamingoes and pelicans soon.
I really enjoy this season, for the lovely weather of course, the really fresh and colourful vegetables available and the wonderful food cooked specifically during this season.
The local winter specials Undhiyu, til chikki and khichu (steamed rice flour) top the list for me.
This is the season for the sweet reddish carrots, better know as the 'Delhi carrots' down South, which make an awesome gajar ka halwa. Traditionally, this is made really rich with khoa / mawa (thickened whole milk), lots of ghee and sugar.
I am not too fond of sweet dishes and definitely not when they are so laden with ghee. I have started making this low fat version after I saw the recipe on Tarla Dalal's site. Here the taste of the carrots is not overpowered and the ghee is minimal. I like the idea of using milk powder to thicken it instead of the mawa
Low fat Gajar ka halwa / Carrot halwa
Adapted from Tarla Dalal's recipe
What you need -
7-8 carrots (about 2 cups when grated)
2 cups low fat milk
4-5 tbsp skimmed milk powder / dairy whitener (I used Nestle Everyday dairy whitener)
2-3 tbsp sugar
1-2 tsp ghee / clarified butter
What you do with it -
Add the grated carrots along with the milk in a pan (preferably non-stick) and stir two - three times
Cover and allow to cook on a low flame. You could use the pressure cooker too, works well both ways, though I prefer this method when I have the time
Once the carrots have softened, add the sugar and milk powder and stir continuously, till it begins to thicken
Add the ghee at this point and stir some more till it turns a slightly deeper colour. If you'd rather do with it, skip this ghee
Serve hot. If you want to up the taste and calories, have it with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream