Uncategorized, Whimsical Recipes

Happy Diwali!

Hey, Wishing everybody a very Happy and Prosperous Diwali. 

Bringing a mid-week special for Diwali. Chukundar ka Halwa.

Its my Whimsical take on a rather boring generally otherwise ignored Tap-Root. This dish is something I came up for the first time over two years ago.

One odd day in 2016, in my professional I had some beets just left around, with which I wondered what to do? Considering that, how much carrots are similar to beets, texture and taste wise (similar carbs), I pondered if beets would make a half decent halwa. 

There was only one way to find out… Here goes nothing…

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Though to begin with you’d a few things

  • Nice firm Beets around 1kg – Grated.  (Pro Tip: Avoid beets with soft, moist spots or shriveled, flabby skin. The tap-root, which extends from the bulbous part of the beet, should be slender. When choosingyour beets, pick equal-sized ones so that they will cook evenly. If the leaves are attached, they should be small, crisp, and dark green.)

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  • Skimmed or Slim Milk 1/2 ltr (Although I would love to use whole milk, I personally believe it makes not much of a difference, taste wise. Cost wise, that’s a whole different ball game.) 

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  • Indian Bay Leaves – Tej Patta 2no. (They are not to be confused with the European Laurel Bay leaves more commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine! Indian Bay leaves are larger, olive green in colour and have 3 veins running the length of the leaf as opposed to the single vein that is usually present on a Laurel Bay leaf.)  

(Pro Tip: Break the leaves into 2-3 pieces, it gives better flavour and also, the thing won’t jump at you while you are stirring. )

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  • Green Cardamom 5no. (I prefer the ones which still have their essential oil intact in them. Trust me, it makes all the difference.

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  • Sugar 1 cup

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  • Dry Fruit & Nuts 1/2 cup (I use a store bought pre-mix which has cashew nuts, almonds, raisins, dried black grapes, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries)

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  • Peda 5 no. (Its the Golden Substitute for Sweetened Khoya/Mawa. Its easily available and works just fine)

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  • Ghee 4 Tbsp. (Ghee, is made from butter of cows’ milk <period>. Vanaspati and Buffalo are just not good enough, they do more harm than good. I believe that the bad reputation built around ghee was not because there is something wrong with it {ghee is part of our diet for over 10000 years, after all} but the malicious stuff as stated above sold as ghee. I mean go to villages in the rural part of the country, they accustomed to calling Hydrogenated Vegetable Fat as Ghee… Its immoral and unethical. Okay, enough of the rant. Let’s get back to the halwa.) 

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I being the lazy person I’m, I prefer to use as few ingredients and as few vessels as possible. But despite that I had to use more dishes than I was comfortable washing. Anyways, so in a pressure cooker or a big sauce pan, which ever is convinent for you, put the grated beets and milk in, drop in the tej patta and cardamom. stew it till the beets turn tender and evaporate half the milk away.

IMG_20181106_232918  Strain and reserve the liquid. Remove the bay leaves and cardamoms. On a different Kadhai, heat the ghee add in the cooked beets, simmer over low heat gradually adding the reserved milk. Keep stirring so as to not let it stick to the base of the kadhai.

Once all the liquid is incorporated, continue to further caramalise the beets over low heat. To be noted this is the most important step, your Halwa will taste dependent on how much time you invest on this step ( I spent around 2 hours doing this).

When done, it’s time to add the good stuff. Start up with the dry fruits and nuts

IMG_20181106_233403Continue by adding the sugar and Peda

IMG_20181106_234323Mix in well and cook further till all the peda and sugar dissolve. You will know its done when it hits your nose. You could add a bit of cardamom powder at this stage, I didn’t because I’m not a big fan…

Cheers You have your #ChukundarkaHalwa!!!!!!!!!

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1 thought on “Happy Diwali!”

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