Xanthan-Free Zone

Real food, incidentally gluten-free.

Archive for August, 2009

Indian Carrot Pudding

Sounds bizarre but actually really delicious. This was always a special occasion dish in my family. It’s extremely simply, it just takes about 3 hours – most of which time you can completely leave it alone.

This recipe is from one of my favourite cookbooks, The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon. I have to admit that in my family we always call this dish carrot halva, but in the book it is gajjar (carrot) kheer and the halva is something else. Just as I was typing this up I remembered I still have some in the fridge. Yum!

Ingredients:
250g carrot, grated or finely chopped
1 litre full-cream milk
1/2 cup raw or caster sugar
2 tbsp almond meal (optional)
9 cardamon pods

Bring the milk to the boil and add the carrot. Simmer on a low heat, uncovered or partially covered, for around three hours. At some point along the line, maybe after a couple of hours, add the other ingredients. When the pudding is done, both the carrot and the milk should have undergone a transformation. The carrot doesn’t taste like carrot, and is kind of caramelised, but without being browned at all. The milk has boiled off and has become almost granular. As it’s getting towards the end, you’ll need to stir it more frequently to keep it from catching on the bottom.

You can blend it before eating, to give a puree texture, and if you’ve only chopped the carrots you might want to do this, but if I’ve grated them I tend not to. It’s nice warm, but I’d also eat it chilled for a more icecreamy feel. You could dress it up with a few pistachios or blanched almonds in each serve, but I personally have never felt the need for this. I just serve it up in small quantities and eat with a teaspoon, to savour every bit.

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