Indian Slow Cooker
At first, carrots and milk might not sound like the ingredients for a crowd-pleasing dessert. But one bite of Carrot Halwa, from Anupy Singla’s The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes (Agate Surrey), will change your mind, fast. A traditional Punjabi dish frequently sweetened with sugar and flavored with nuts and raisins, Halwa is a smashing end to any meal. Serve it hot or cold. (Please note that your carrot halwa will look different when it emerges from the slow cooker. The one pictured here is pureed.)
Slow-Cooker Size: 5 quart
2 pounds carrots, peeled and washed thoroughly
6 cups whole milk
2 cups sugar
1 cup raw almonds, crushed or chopped
1/2 cup melted ghee or butter
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon ground pistachios
1 tablespoon ground almonds
1. Grate the carrots by hand. (Unfortunately, this dish is a labor of love, and this is the labor. The carrots just break down much better if they are hand grated. Alternatively, you can grate them in a food processor. I’ve found that the pre-grated, store-bought carrots are not worth using because they are grated too thick and too long.) Put the carrots in the slow cooker.
2. Bring the milk to a boil on the stovetop and pour it over the carrots in the slow cooker.
3. Cook for 3 hours on high. Remove the slow cooker lid and cook for another 3 hours on high. Replace the lid, but leave it slightly open and cook on high for 3 more hours. By now, the carrots will be cooked and will look soft and watery.
4. Transfer the carrot mixture to a wide, heavy pan and cook on the stovetop on medium-high for 15 minutes.
5. Add the sugar and continue cooking, stirring, for another 15 minutes. While stirring, slowly add the crushed almonds and the ghee or butter. Add the raisins and ground cardamom and continue stirring.
6. When the carrot mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan on its own and becomes thicker, it’s done. Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool for about 15 minutes.
7. Garnish with the ground pistachio and almonds.
Makes 7 cups
Excerpted from The Indian Slow Cooker © 2010, by Anupy Singla. Reprinted with permission of Agate Surrey.
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