¼ cup/60 ml ghee
1 ½ lb/680 g coarse or finely grated carrots
4 ½ cups/1 L whole milk
½ cup/100 g sugar
¾ tsp ground green cardamom
15 to 20 strands of saffron
½ cup/35 g golden raisins
2 Tbsp whole or broken roasted cashews
2 Tbsp chopped roasted pistachios
- Melt the ghee over low heat in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or stockpot (I prefer a stockpot for this because it is deep and won’t let the milk boil over). Stir in the carrots, cover with a lid, and cook until the carrots turn tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir often to prevent the carrots from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan and burning.
- Pour in the milk and stir in the sugar. Cook over low heat, until all the liquid evaporates, stirring often to prevent the carrots from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan and burning, 1 to 1 ½ hours. At the 45-minute mark, stir in the cardamom and saffron along with the raisins. Once the liquid evaporates, remove from the heat and transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with the chopped nuts. Serve warm or at room temperature. This halwa will be good for up to a week if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, but it won’t last that long.
- In most instances, I recommend unsalted butter as an alternative to ghee. This is one place you’re better off using ghee due to its nutty aroma. If you do end up using butter, you will need to cook it till the water evaporates and the milk solids turn light brown. You must then remove the melted fat and discard all the solids. You will simply end up making ghee, so just save yourself a few extra steps and start with ghee.
- The nuts can be salted but they should be roasted. Typically, the nuts are fried in ghee, but I don’t like to do that here, I like the aroma of roasted nuts. If you prefer the nuts fried, fry them in the ghee before you cook the carrots. Remove the nuts and transfer them to a bowl.
- There is no need to add salt. The carrots and milk have enough sodium on their own. If you’re still unconvinced, taste the halwa once the milk evaporates to determine if it really needs salt.
- Avoid serving this cold as ghee solidifies when cold.