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March 2018



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Gajar Halwa or Burfi - Indian Carot Pudding or Fudge

Gajar means carrot but Halwa doesn't mean exactly pudding, and Burfi doesn't mean exactly fudge.

Halwa is similar to Halva and means "sweet", as in "Have a sweet".

Burfi comes from the Persian word for snow, because it is whitish and always served cold, and refers to a range of milk sweets that are made by condensing the milk until it is solid.

The difference between Gajar Halwa and Gajar Burfi is mostly in the texture. Burfi uses more sugar, is solid, and is served cold. Halwa is a little less sweet, softer, and served warm.

After looking over several online recipes this is what I did:
4 Tbsp Butter
2.5 lb Carrots, grated
1 C Sugar
4 C Whole Milk
1 C Heavy Cream
2 tsp ground Cardamom
dash of salt

The recipes warn that the carrots need to be hand grated. Store bought grated carrots are cut too big, and the S-blade in the food processor also doesn't shred the carrots small enough. I used the shredding wheel for my food processor because that should be the same as hand shredding, but easier.

2.5 lb of carrots is a lot of carrots!

I put the butter in my heavy bottomed straight sided 10" frying pan, with 2" straight sides. And then added the carrots. The carrots filled the pan and I was a bit worried that I should have used a deeper pot.

I cooked carrots for a few minutes then added the sugar and milk and let it come to a simmer. As it cooked down I added the heavy cream, cardamom, and salt.

I could have left out the salt, but I thought it was just a little better with the salt in it.

Then I just had to let it cook down. It took about 2 hours to get to the point where it was no longer a liquid. That makes it Halwa. If I had the patience to cook it until it was a firm solid it would be Burfi. But I don't.

You can speed up the process by using condensed milk, or powdered milk instead of the plain whole milk. I may try that if I ever have any powdered milk.

But at least I used up a whole lot of carrots.
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We ate some pistachio burfi last month, yum! Addictive!