Here’s a cute spin on the traditional Gajar Ka Halwa we all love. It’s essentially the same thing as Gajar Ka Halwa, but with added milk powder so that the Halwa is firmer and solidifies into shapes once it cools- how fun! I made three different kinds with mine:
Diamond, which was my favourite
And one lone laddoo (ball) for my husband.
The possibilities are endless though! Imagine how fun it would be to use a cookie cutter and make heart shapes, stars shapes or even teddy bear shaped Gajar Barfis! This could even be a fun activity with your littles ones too – having them cut out shapes like you would with biscuits!
I took the diamond Gajar Barfis along with me to an Eid dinner at a relatives house. Everyone loved them, saying they taste like the Barfis at the Mithai shops! Talk about a compliment! *blushes*. It’s definitely extra work, making these instead of Gajar Ka Halwa, however the effort is definitely worth it for parties. Firstly, they look so beautiful when garnished and arranged on a plate and secondly, they make for great finger food!
In this recipe, I’ve added 1/2 cup of optional nut powder or desiccated coconut. This is just for flavour and it doesn’t serve any other purpose so you are free to omit it if you don’t have it on hand or don’t like it. I used desiccated coconut both in the Barfi and for garnish, since my family likes coconut.
Enjoy, with love x
Gajar Ki Barfi
Gajar Ki Barfi
2cupssugaradjust to taste
4cupswhole milk powder
0.5cupsdesiccated coconut or nut powderoptional
nuts, for garnish
saffron, for garnishoptional
Put the grated carrots into a pot and dry them out on high heat. They will release a lot of their own moisture so don't worry about burning. Stir occasionally and keep drying them out for about 20-25 minutes
Add all the milk. Bring to a near-boil and then cook on medium heat, stirring and scraping the bottom very often to prevent the milk from gathering at the bottom and burning. This is where the majority of your cook time will be spent. Continue to stir this until all the milk has dried out and the carrots are dry and mashed
Whilst the milk and carrrots are cooking, take your green cardamom pods and dry roast them over high heat on a dry pan. Once they release their fragrance and begin to brown, take off the heat. Transfer to a plastic bag and pound with a rolling pin until the inner black seeds are released. Discard the green shells and grind the black seeds to a fine powder.
Once the milk has dried out from the carrots, add the ghee. Stir-fry the carrot mixture in the ghee until the carrots darken and the ghee releases it's fragrance. I find the longer you stir-fry it, the tastier the Barfi is. I stir-fried mine for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the sugar. Mix this in and dry out the water released by the sugar till it is back to the same consistency as before
Add the milk powder and the optional desiccated coconut/nut powder. Turn the heat off
Transfer your Barfi mixture into a ghee-greased pan and pack it in tightly. I lined my pan with foil to make it easier to take the Barfi out after cooling. Sprinkle with your garnishing - I used saffron, coconut and nuts but you can use anything you fancy. The picture below was taken before I added the garnish
Allow this mixture to cool thoroughly for about 6 hours and then cut into your desired shapes using a sharp knife. Serve at room temperature.
If you don't want to use whole cardamom and go through the roasting and grinding process, you can substitute it with 2-3tsp cardamom powder but you'll be losing out on a lot of flavour and aroma!
Desiccated coconut is also known as shredded coconut