Delicious World of Chefette Spicy

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Hot Carrot Halwa for Winter

Halwa is the most diverse of all sweet treats/desserts in the world. From the Middle East to South Asia, Halwa finds its rightful place in a whole repertoire of cuisines. Halwa (or halva or sometimes Alva as we call it in the Indian down South) is typically made out of flour, sugar, butter and dry fruits and nuts which are added in the end to the dish. My most favorite kind will forever be the wheat Alva we get in Tirunalveli, a city in Tamil Nadu. Oh my gosh, the taste. I seriously cannot do justice to this wonderful dish on a single blog post that is not about Tirunalveli Alva. Let me just say this: if I had to choose one dessert and I was allowed to eat only that all my life, I would choose this sweet. And I won’t regret it.
carrot halwaiA couple of days ago, we decided to take advantage of the fresh carrots at home and make carrot Halwa. This is one of the easiest sweets I’ve ever made and it is also one of the yummiest. The condensed milk gave it a wonderful depth to the halva. So it really is a win-win situation. My only regret was that we made very little. I cannot wait to make more and eat it hot out of the pan, a kick in Winter’s cold a**.

Winter Carrot Halwa

Ingredients:
Four huge carrots finely grated (I used the bigger holes on my grater because I hate the mushy texture of the smaller side)

One cup condensed milk

One Tbsp Ghee/brown butter

Few slivered almonds and raisins

Five pieces salted roasted cashews (unroasted would do too, just add them with the almonds and raisins)

A generous pinch cardamom powder (or crushed whole cardamoms)

Method:
Cook the carrot and condensed milk along with cardamom powder on medium hear. It is done when the carrot becomes completely soft and all the water from the milk and carrot condenses. Melt the Ghee, add the slivered almonds and raisins. Let them brown. When done, mix them into the Halwa along with the salted cashews.

Carrot Halwa tastes the best when eaten hot off the pan with vanilla ice cream. So good!

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Long Weekend Day 2: Veggie Spring Rolls with Soy Dip

This recipe is no rocket science. I stuffed spring rolls wrapper with wilted veggies. It was so darn yum! Perfect for a Sunday evening.
spring rolls2
Saute ginger-garlic paste with scallion whites. Add grated purple cabbage and carrot. Season with Sriracha, soy sauce and pepper. Mix in the scallion greens and Stuff spring roll wrappers. Heat two Tbsps of oil in a wok. Shallow fry the spring rolls, adding more oil as you go.

Mix quarter cup soy sauce, one Tbsp Sriracha, a splash of rice wine vinegar and scallion greens.
spring rolls


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No Trip to Indian Store Needed Eggplant Gravy

Unless you cook Indian every day in the year or at least 70% of the time, you are not going to visit your neighborhood Indian grocer regularly. And those little bottles of turmeric, cumin, coriander and Garam Masala powders you bought to make Tandoori Chicken or Bhindi Masala six months ago? What do you do with them? You can use them to Indianize any normal gravy you make for dinner. Trust me on this. But then, you probably already know that. I learned that only after I gave The Best 125 Meatless Main Dishes a complete read.

As mentioned before, this was a gift from my eldest sister in Bangalore last year when I visited India. Though it took me nearly a year to approach the book in search of ideas, I am discovering a sub-Indian cuisine that I never knew existed. This recipe calls for eggplant, garbanzo beans, red bell peppers and French beans but feel free to add any vegetables in your refrigerator as I did. I replaced beans with carrots and red bell peppers with capsicum aka green bell peppers.

Also, the Indian in me couldn’t help but sprinkle a little bit of Garam Masala in the end but if you are not in the mood for a typical Indian Masala-filled curry, ignore the bottle. You could get the recipe from the book but if you need it, comment or holler on my facebook page. I will send it to you.