Lalitha’s Carrot Halwa
Lalitha taught Deborah how to make this and Deborah and Lalitha taught me January 1992 when we were visiting Lalitha in Trenton, New Jersey. Lalitha grew up in Madras, India, and this is a recipe she grew up making. It is pronounced hal-va. It's sort of like a pudding and is very good. Ingredients may be adjusted to taste. The original recipe is deliciously sweet and rich. The original recipe amounts are given below, but, to make it a bit less fattening, I have used low-fat milk and less sugar and butter. It is still quite good that way.
- 2 pounds carrots, grated (this is about 5 cups) (no need to peel) (you can use a food processor to "grate" the carrots and it works fine and saves a lot of work)
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 or 2 tsp ground cardamom (Lalitha ground her own, but not necessary)
- raisins (optional but very good addition)
- 3 T butter
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- Mix grated carrots in large pot with the milk and sugar and cardamom.
- After the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Cook till the milk is completely absorbed/evaporated.
- You can add some raisins while it is cooking, toward the end.
- After you remove from heat, stir in the butter and almonds
- It is good served warm or cold. It keeps well in the refrigerator several days and reheats nicely.