Carrot, Coconut & Oatmeal Baked Halwa with Cardamom, Candied Ginger, Cranberries & Pistachios
This weeks breakfast dish is... well, it's not a breakfast dish! But it does have some oatmeal in it- haha! But being as my day got off to a late start, I decided to make this crazy little thing for a sweet-treat later on...
I adore carrot halwa and hadn't eaten any for ages- it is hands-down my favorite Indian dessert! But today, I decided to create a little invention of my own... which turned out to be pretty delicious as well!
Sweet, tender carrot with cardamom and cinnamon, cooked down in milk and enriched with cashews and raisins- what could be more lovely? In a word... this!
For my variation on the theme of an Indian carrot halwa, to make 3 small portions I needed 3 carrots, 3 cardamom pods, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 3 tablespoons of coconut flakes, 3 tablespoons of oatmeal, 1 slice of candied ginger, 1 handful of cranberries, 1 handful of pistachios, milk as required and honey to taste.
The baking is not really necessary to be honest- it just adds a touch of toasted aroma to the coconut and oatmeal that I like... and also gave me a chance to use the little cake form that I once bought and have never used! But you have to admit- it did make this look rather pretty too!
The preparation work was minimal... grate the carrots, chop the candied ginger finely and grind the cardamom pods ready to toast in a dry saucepan... which is the first thing you need to do!
Add the carrots and stir them over a high temperature until they begin to give off their juice and to change color, then add half of the coconut, the cranberries (which I also sliced) and the cinnamon.
After 3-4 minutes of stirring together, add enough milk to cover the carrots bring to the boil. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the oatmeal.
Add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of honey... stir it through, taste it and add more honey (or sugar) until it is sweet enough for you. I stopped at 1 tablespoon as I prefer a milder sweetness... and because I like to add more honey at the end!
Once almost all of the milk has been absorbed and you have a nice, compact mass, ready for baking, stir in the halved pistachios and you are ready to go! I like to cut them in half to expose that beautiful green interior!
Butter and sprinkle whichever baking forms you decide to use- or alternatively, simply your tray and press down the halwa, ready to be baked for 20-25 minutes at 200°C.
Once the surface is golden and slightly crispy and you can see the halwa shrinking away from the outer edge of your baking dish- it is ready to be enjoyed! Mind your fingers though- those little devils get really hot!
Serve with a last trickle of honey... and swoon over the perfumed fragrance that will be filling the room! Delicious!
Moist, fluffy, fragrant and simply delicious! All you need to do now is to enjoy!