One thing with the traditional preparation of Gajar ka halwa is that it is a labor of love. You'll have to stand there stirring it, making sure it does not stick to the bottom and burn and if you don't have that whole hour to stand there and cook this, you might as well get some from the store.
But, there is indeed an easier way to go about this - the slower method. Even though the cooking time is way more than normal, this can be prepared much in advance and you don't have to lift a spoon while its cooking. Just pile up the ingredients, switch on the button and forget about it for 6 hours. And when your guests are ready for dessert, just open up a warm pot of delicious tasting gajar ka halwa.
Grate a bunch of carrots and even though I love my food processor like a child, I skip that and instead hand grate the carrots - just because I want a shorter grate than what my food processor gives me. Its complicate, I know. But I just can't get myself to compromise on this one.
Add all the grated carrots to the slow cooker. I was preparing this for a party dessert and hence grated about 7-8 carrots.
Add two cans of evaporated milk on top of the carrots.
And about 1/2 to 1 cup of regular milk. You can actually skip this if you are using lesser carrots and there is enough evaporated milk to cover the ca
Add one can of sweetened condensed milk. I love love the fact that we now get fat free condensed milk!! Yay for that!
Add about 1/2 cup of sugar - remember carrots themselves are sweet, and you also have condensed milk in there. So about 1/2 cup of sugar is all you'll need.
Gently mix it all up well. As you can see, there's just about enough liquid to cover the carrots. The more liquid you have in here, the longer its going to take you to make the halwa. But, the great thing is that you still don't have to lift a spoon - your slow cooker will do all the work for you. Just time it correctly so you don't have your guests waiting and this still not done.
Close the lid. Switch on the cooker and go take care of your to-do list for the next 6 hrs. Maybe once every 2 hrs, walk over back and give this a stir - not that it needs that, but you can get an idea of the consistency.
And don't fret if you see a little darkening around the pot. You see the white space in between the halwa and the scorched walls - that's how much the halwa has reduced in quantity in about 5-6 hrs. It still needs to go on for about 45 mins to get thicker.
When the halwa is completely done and pretty thick in consistency, add sliced almonds and pistachios and add about 1/2 tsp of cardamom powder and some saffron if you have it at home - this just adds a subtle flavor to the halwa.
What else do you have to wait for? Dig in and enjoy. And thank the makers of slow cooker for making life easier for us halwa lovers!
Serve hot as is or along with a cool scoop of ice cream. I also do love to eat this cold out of the fridge.
So just eat it anyway you like. This version is super moist and when you pick up that spoon and place it on your tongue and all that milk goodness just flows out, aaaahhhh..life is so good!
Enjoy. Peace Out!