Make it vegan or regular. In slow cooker or gas stove….
Rich, aromatic full of flavor, nothing beats a great halwa. I love Indian desserts and this is one of my favorites. It is made from sweet potatoes, carrots and coconut milk - vegan halwa. The flavors work very well and I love the mild coconut flavor in the halwa. It is a great slow cooker dessert. It’s halwa but formed as a ladoo ( balls) just to control my portion size ;)
I am an over enthusiastic shopper. No! It’s not handbags, foot wear, make up or dresses….( that too but not as much). I go berserk in a grocery store - produce section drives me crazy. For one I do not do weekly menu planning - neither do I have a grocery list that is cast in gold. I have a basic list, but it’s always way beyond what’s on the list. For most of my friends going grocery shopping is a chore and a stressful exercise, for me it’s quite the opposite. I even take cell phone pictures of produce - if you follow me on FB or Instagram you know what am talking about.
A few weeks back I got a huge amount of sweet potatoes ( no kidding!)…the freshness just enticed me. Everything sweet potato was on my mind, pies, curries, soup and even ice cream (am planning that really soon). Thankfully Sweet potatoes has a long shelf life, I forgot about them and discovered them a couple of days back. I had originally planned to make an ice cream or a curry, but..I was not in the mood for ice cream in sub zero, horrible, terrible, no good winter day ( ops! I shall reserve this rant for another post) anyway, long story short…I wanted to have a warm dessert - something traditional. Halwa it was. I used coconut milk instead of milk - loved the flavors.
There are a lot of ways to serve the halwa - make it into tiny bite size balls (ladoo) and coat them with powdered pistachio or desiccated coconut. Or just serve in a bowl topped with pistachio.
2 cups grated carrot
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp ghee ( clarified butter) or coconut oil for vegan
1 tsp cardamom powder
pinch of saffron
generous helping of pistachio chopped finely
for ladoo - 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
Slow Cooker method
Add grated sweet potato, carrot, coconut milk in the slow cooker and leave it for 2 hours on high. Keep stirring every 30 minutes.
After 2 hours check if the sweet potato is cooked, if it is cooked even 3/4 add the sugar and let it roast for 2 more hours.
It will now be reduced considerable - add ghee or coconut oil or any other fragrance free oil ( preferably sunflower) and let it roast for about 2 hours.
Add cardamom, saffron.
Yes ! That’s 6 hours of slow cook time. Imagine the goodness.
A note on oil : I prefer ghee any day, perfect for this dessert. But if you are a vegan - the best substitute is coconut or sunflower. if you are not happy with coconut oil aroma - go for sunflower at it is very neutral.
Sugar : I really do not like my desserts very sweet and am usually low on sugar. You can add extra sugar in the last half hour of coking - so do taste before you serve.
On gas stove
Add grated sweet potato, carrot, coconut milk on gas stove and leave it for 1 hour on medium. Keep stirring every 15 minutes.
After 1 hour check if the sweet potato is cooked, if it is cooked even 3/4 add the sugar and let it roast for 45 more minutes on a low flame.
Add ghee or coconut oil or sunflower and let it roast for 30 minutes on low.
Add cardamom, saffron.
serve garnished with pistachio or make into ladoos when cool and coat it with powdered pistachio or desiccated coconut
Make sure the pistachio powder is not too fine - refer to picture.
If you are unable to form ladoo, because halwa is soft add desiccated coconut OR milk powder. ( I have never had this issue)