Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa)

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Is Gajar ka Halwa Indian or Pakistani?
Am lost.
Need to do a good research and repost a new post while in the mean time I’ve got a small twist in a carrot halwa recipe. I decided to try some substitutes in the carrot halwa recipe I’ve come across online. The main substitute for ghee was a super healthy one according to me.
Wondering what I substituted ghee with? Well, it’s none other than olive butter. The tub says its cholesterol free and healthy, which I believe due to the maximum amount of olive oil used in the making of olive butter.
The second substitute was almonds for cashew nuts. Well, almonds are rich in fat but has 0% cholesterol while it also contains a similar percentage of protein and iron which are totally healthy. Almonds were recommended to me by my dietician as a snack. Excess of anything is not healthy so everything has a limit.
So my next substitute for saffron was yellow food color with a few drops of vanilla essence to give the halwa a dessert feeling.
Carrot means a vegetable according to my Sri Lankan family but now they know carrot is sweet and can be used to make delicious desserts too (slight grin).

Some tips for a very healthy carrot halwa that you can try at home.

Use stevia extract instead of sugar as stevia is know as a diabetic friendly sweetener.
Substitute milk with low-fat milk.
Try avoiding the nuts for a gluten free dessert they make no big difference.

Food story of the day
I accidentally added some turmeric powder into my carrot halwa for the color and as a substitute for saffron strands but latter on adjusted it by adding yellow food coloring and sone vanilla to cover up the turmeric powder flavor.

So I end my post with another question.
Are almonds an Arabian nut?
I have seen people gift almonds to relatives when they return from a middle eastern country which is what made me think almonds are from the middle east.
Need to go on a research for the origins of some ingredients I guess!

mafaza

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My pakoras

Indian food has delicious names.
When ever I read an indian menu am so excited to try them all.
I love buriyani.
I never mastered the art of making idly or thosa but there are a few snacks I crave for during my tea or on a rainy day. Its none apart from the baked goodies such as scones, pies and pastries, it’s the very famous mouth-watering and delicious indian pakoras, bondas and the wadey. These snacks are readily available all over to buy at a very reasonable price but do they all have the same quality as home-made is questionable.   of course every food we buy at stores and restaurants are not perfectly clean and made to meet the high standards of a health ministry yet they are all delicious.  I don’t talk about those 5 star hotels that sell the small stuff for a high price. I am also not against any small businesses but am talking about the luxury and satisfaction a simple home-made snack can create. Lazy days can be ignorant days. But this time I was so hyperactive to try something indian and show off to my family.
I decided to fry pakoras and the next day I fried some bondas. The magic is that some leftover bonda batter turned into a delicious wadey.
Sometimes indian food seem like the simplest of all yet delicious. That’s a thought out loud of an indian food addict.
Generally sambars are prepared as a one pot curry with many vegetables and I have seen some people add mutton into it, that mutton sambar tasted so delicious and yummy. It was many years ago in southern india. Coming back to my pakoras, I only added a few onions, capsicum, curry leaves and seasoned with some salt, chillie powder, chillie flakes and turmeric powder. I mixed an equal portion of gram flour with wheat flour and baking powder, seasoned it with salt and chillie powder.
I then mixed both the mixture together by adding a few drops of water only to combine the two sets of ingredients.
Deep fried in hot oil the pakoras were drizzling with a shiny golden brown color, crispy and warm waiting till the crunchiness is crushed.

I don’t measure my ingredients and I call it free style cooking. A beginner needs to start with measurements while an expert knows whats required and how much when it comes to cooking your day-to-day meals and snacks. Of course you will need to measure the ingredients when your making something special.

I made bondas a fried ball fritters with a potato filling with my same batter but a bit too thick and smooth to coat the potato balls.
There was a bit of the batter left and I fried them into small wadey with some kooni isso (dried shrimps).
The best comment was from my brother who has told my sister that “how great I am at making a snack out of scratch and simple ingredients”.

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One Recipe 3 snacks

Ingredients
Gram flour 1 cup
Wheat flour 1 cup
Salt to taste
Chillie powder as required
A few pinches Baking powder

Method
Mix all ingredients with a bit of water for a cake batter consistency.

Bonda – Dip in a ball of potato curry and deep fry. For potato curry temper onions, curry leaves, mustard seeds in a bit of oil. Mash in boiled potatoes and season with salt, turmeric powder, chillie powder, pepper powder and a tablespoon of coconut milk. Mix well and cool. Make balls and dip.
Wadey – add some onions, curry leaves, chillie flakes, dried shrimps and carrots if you like. Deep fry a small teaspoon of the mixture.
pakoras – do not make batter with water if you’re gonna make pakoras. Add the dry ingredients over a bowl filled with onions, capsicum, green chillies, curry leaves and coat. Sprinkle a few drops of water to prevent the flour from sticking to the bowl making sure the ingredients are incorporated evenly. Deep fry until crispy and serve hot.

Update-
Hello there its 25th December and Christmas around the world am updating my post on how I used the same ingredients to make my favourite ash plantain bajjis yesterday. The batter was a bit thick but same ingredients. Am so happy that I have perfectioned my culinary skills in making some indian snacks. No pictures yet but will upload the next time.
Happy holidays
mafaza