The story goes this way. We had an over dose of beet roots a few weeks ago and I had to finish them off with hitting boredom or seeing them end up in the trash. A few stir fries and curries had already made us see enough of the fiery deep crimson red color that it's hang over would last for months! I used the final batch of 4 beetroots to make this halwa and it was worth every effort.
Beet is a popular tropical reddish purple rooted vegetable liked or disliked for it's odd color. I know many who don't like beets, don't cook them or even eat them. I guess it's probably due to it's intense color. I have less liking for it as a vegetable, but still cook them once a while. But this dessert is one which you shouldn't stop from giving a try. If you admire carrot halwa, then you will surely love these too. Except the color, there it isn't much different.
Here are a few tips that can help you. You can use canned condensed milk or khova for this recipe instead of reducing the milk over the stove. Low fat milk with few tbsp of milk powder would work equally good. Take care not to grate the beets too fine, they may dissolve while cooking. Squeeze as much juice as possible from the grated beet and use it to make red velvet cake.
1/2 kg beetroot, grated
1/2 litre Milk
225 gm Sugar
1 tbsp clarified butter
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
Nuts and Raisins for garnish
Wash and grate the beetroots. Sauté the beetroot on a pan till it softens a little, approximately for about 5 minutes. Add in the milk. It will bubble up as it boils. Cook on a gentle flame for about 20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes. Add in the sugar, stir well and cook till the sugar melts and dissolves well. Cook until all the milk is reduced and has been absorbed. It will result in a mushy mass. That's how we want it.
Add a tbsp of clarified butter/ghee and cook further for 2 minutes. Add in plump raisins and freshly crushed cardamom seeds.
Fry the cashew nuts in a tsp of ghee. When it turns golden, transfer it to the halwa. Set a few aside to garnish the halwa while serving. Serve warm.
My parents visited us the day I made this and they throughly enjoyed it. Warm servings of this halwa, freshly seasoned with cardamom and nuts made an exotic treat for all. A dollop of vanilla ice cream would elevate this dessert to a greater extent.
Do not leave the cardamom out. It has an impeccable luxurious flavor that it imparts to this dessert making it warm, rich and endearingly good. A single bite of this simple looking, yet rich, sweet and calorific dessert will leave you craving for more.
Note: Apologies readers! I shall take a month's break from blogging as I am tied with work and personal needs to cater to. But I promise I shall be back soon. Till then, happy reading and cooking! Chio!
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