The Blessings of the Animals – Gajar Halva
Carrot pudding? Really? It doesn’t sound appetizing but trust me when I say this is a decadent dessert which is perfectly sweet, balanced, and spicy. (And the photo from my phone’s camera isn’t the best. The dessert is a vibrant sunset orange which perfectly sets off the lime green from crushed pistachios.)
Adapted from a private recipe used in a now-closed Indian restaurant
6 medium carrots, shredded
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup melted butter (or ghee for a more authentic taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pistachios, crushed
Over medium-high heat, bring carrots and half and half to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently. Boil until all the half and half is absorbed within the carrots, about 45 minutes. Read excerpts from The Blessings of the Animals while you stir.
Fold in the brown sugar, raisins, butter, spices, and salt. Stir thoroughly.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is the consistency of pudding (about 15 minutes.)
Pour into serving bowl and garnish with pistachios. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream or alone.
Challenge your book club to taste test this Indian treat. Gajar halwa is featured in a beautiful chapter within The Blessings of the Animals. By crafting this time-consuming but delicious dish, you will have firsthand knowledge of what it means to persevere.
May words nourish your soul.