Monday, October 24, 2016

Interesting Dessert with Carrots

Some would immediately say "Ewww", yet we do eat carrot cake! With spices added, and a little sugar, lots of things become not only palatable, but downright delicious. And so it is with this, another Indian recipe for Gajar Burfi, or in other words, a carrot fudge.

Gajar Burfi or Carrot Fudge with Edible Silver Leaf
Gajar Burfi or Carrot Fudge with Edible Silver Leaf
I have encountered many interesting blogs with Indian recipes, and one of them is I have not made too much from this site, but it is a veritable treasure trove, if you love Indian food. Since I have an Indian Dinner scheduled next week, I was looking for a dessert - not Gulab Jamun, since I served that to two of the guests last time! The stricture of "no nuts" was a trifle limiting, since so many desserts and other Indian foods use nuts as a matter of course. And then I came upon this recipe for Gajar Burfi. As usual, I looked at a slew of other recipes for this same dessert, and settled with this one as it sounded easy enough. 

Before making it for guests, however, I thought it expedient to at least try it out and see if it was something that tasted good. My husband is a little sketchy on carrots. He will eat them if they are in something like a vegetable soup, or shredded into a stir fry, but not so much blatantly on their own! I am not sure if he will eat this or not, but I am going to hazard a guess that he just might, if he can get past the thought of eating CARROTS for dessert. ;-)

Gajar Burfi or Carrot Fudge
Gajar Burfi or Carrot Fudge
So with that in mind, I set about making half of the recipe - partly as I didn't have enough of the whole milk powder on hand to make the whole recipe, and partly because....what if we don't like it? So, the recipe is pretty much straight from this blog site mentioned above and I would encourage looking through that site.

The recipe is detailed in very large step by step photos on this website, so mine will be just enough to give the idea. Truly, it is a simple recipe. The whole milk powder is not available everywhere - certainly not in this town, to my knowledge. Amazon is my go-to place. The recipe uses a small amount of ground cardamom, but I do encourage you to invest in the whole cardamom seeds and grind them yourself rather than get pre-ground powder. I have tried both, and the powder, which is often the seeds ground along with the husks in the interest of cost, just barely has any flavor in comparison. And who would have known that carrots and cardamom would go so well together? 

One thing about Indian recipes: they rarely will tell you how much a thing makes, or what size of pan to use. When I started this recipe this morning, I greased a 7 x 7-inch pan, thinking this would work for half the recipe. As I got closer to the end of cooking I realized this was far too large a pan. I couldn't find anything else on short notice but a 6-inch diameter round cake pan. Even that is larger than I would have liked for this half recipe I made. So, I believe the 7 x 7-inch pan would accommodate the whole recipe (as written below) just fine, giving a slightly thicker final product. My burfi turned out rather flatter than I'd hoped, and with the round pan, I cut it into wedges rather than squares. All that said, the bit I ate was out-of-this-world good!

This is what to do:

Gajar Burfi or Carrot Fudge
Gajar Burfi or Carrot Fudge

Gajar Burfi (Carrot Fudge)

Makes one 6 x 6 or 7 x 7-inch square pan

2 tablespoons ghee
4 cups finely grated carrots
pinch of salt 
1 cup whole milk powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
pistachios (or raisins) for garnish

Grease a 6 x 6 or 7 x 7-inch square pan or tray and set aside.

In a saucepan with a heavy bottom, melt the ghee and add in the grated carrots and the pinch of salt. Use a silicone spatula to toss and stir the carrots over medium to medium low heat for 7 to 9 minutes. The carrots will cook and also dry out considerably in this time.

Take pan off heat and dump in the powdered milk, stirring quickly to combine with the carrots. Return to the heat and add the sugar and cardamom, stirring quickly and scraping the bottom often. There will be some sticking, but most can be avoided if you keep your attention on the mixture. The sugar as it melts will loosen the mixture somewhat, but it quickly dries out and the carrots will come together into one mass. Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth it to the edges.
Step by step making Gajar Burfi
cooking carrots      |  whole milk powder added  |      sugar goes in      |      cooked to a ball      |     turned into pan to mold

Allow to cool, then cut into squares (or wedges if you've used a round pan). Garnish with chopped pistachios or with (white) raisins to serve. 

I believe that the half recipe I made would nicely serve 3 people, with two small, thin wedges constituting a serving. So this whole recipe as it stands above would serve 6. If you are more conservative in your serving portions (I have no willpower!), then the recipe might serve 12.

Then of course, in the interest of making a good thing better, since the main course for my dinner nest week is a Royal Biryani, I felt I should invest in some edible silver leaf (varq or vark) to adorn the dish, as is often shown in cookbooks. It so happens that I ordered it over the weekend and it arrived this morning! I got it out, believing (and rightfully so) that it might require a bit of a learning curve to set the silver leaf in place, I got out one of the sheets and experimented. The first photo above shows my very first time with silver leaf! (From Amazon, of course!)

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.