Cricket fever is on full-swing. Getting the man of the house to pay attention to what you’re saying has become next to impossible even after repeating most sentences a dozen times. Most of you (I mean the women here) reading this would definitely nod your head in approval. There’s just one way to get the man to pay attention to you at times like these…dish up the most lip-smacking meal. While he’s being the perfect couch potato, if you can just spend a few minutes in the kitchen on and off and make a special meal replete of a special dessert, I’m sure he’ll turn to look at you atleast once for an appreciative nod and a charming smile during dinner, so much so that you’ll even forget he was ignoring you all the while ;)
We had a favourite couple over this weekend, and with two men around and that too during a cricket match, I couldn’t but help dish this up to have after a nice and simple home-made Chinese meal of Vegetable Fried rice and No-fry Cauliflower Manchurian Gravy. I know what you’re thinking…Chinese food and Carrot halwa? Yeah, summer’s here and the sweet pinkish winter carrots will be gone soon so I had planned to make the carrot halwa anyway. And the carrots were grated and ready too. Try stopping me once I have my heart set on a dessert! So I made this quick-fix dessert alright, and we enjoyed it to celebrate
India’s victory South-Africa’s victory (yeah what a bummer that India lost). What’s more, since I made this microwave version, I didn’t spend too much time slaving on it and since it was low-fat, we didn’t feel guilty digging into it either. I have always loved Amma’s traditional, rich carrot halwa recipe which entails cooking and stirring the halwa in a large kadai over the flame. That halwa is to die for. This time however, I thought I’d let my MW do all the dirty work so I could put my pretty feet up on a chair and enjoy the halwa with relish. Thank god for Microwaves. And thank god for gadgets that make our life so much easier.
Low-fat Microwave Carrot Halwa
- Long pinkish Winter Carrots – 5-6 nos, large-sized, cleaned and grated (should make about 2 – 2 1/2 cups grated carrot)
- Sugar – 1/2 – 3/4 cup (I used 1/2 cup since we like our desserts just mildly sweet. You could use upto 3/4 cup depending on your sweet tooth)
- Low-fat Milk – 2 cups
- Skim-milk powder – 4-6 tbsps
- Ghee – 2-3 tbsps
- Elaichi/Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
- Almonds – 1/4 cup, blanched and slivered
- I prefer to use the long pinkish winter carrots for my carrot halwa since they’re naturally sweeter, and hence more suitable for the halwa; regular carrots would work just as fine too.
- I’ve used skim-milk powder in place of khoya to make us a low-fat version. I must tell you though that there was absolutely no compromise on the taste. If you don’t mind the extra calories, feel free to skip the skim-milk powder and use khoya instead.
- My Microwave sets to 900W at 100% power, so the cooking duration may vary with yours. Please use the recipe as a guideline and work out the cooking time as per your MW.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the ghee at 100% power for 30 seconds.
- Add the grated carrots, stir and microwave at 100% powder for about 5 minutes.
- Add milk, sugar and the skim-milk powder. Stir and microwave at 100% power for 10-12 minutes. Stir the mixture every 2-3 minutes.
- Cover the top of the bowl with a cling film and punch a few holes on top using a knife/fork. Microwave at 60% power for another 10 minutes till the carrot is completely cooked and the milk has been absorbed by the carrot.
- Sprinkle the cardamom powder and the blanched and slivered almonds (I roasted the slivered almonds in 1 tbsp ghee and then added them to the halwa). Stir lightly and microwave at 100% power for 2 minutes, this time without the cling film. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
- Serve hot with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream. Bliss.
For someone who won’t even care to look at sweets, the hubby asked for a second serving. Soon after he finished his first bowl-full, he was heard saying “Hmmm, verrrrry nice. Some more please” Now, that’s something coming from him cos he hardly ever is vocal about such things. See, didn’t I tell you that you can have this effect on the man even during the World Cup? The way to a man’s heart is indeed through his tummy ;)
Low-fat. Microwave. Carrot halwa. It really cannot get better than this.
Here are a couple of servings just for you. Want to pick them up? Feel free…I laid them out here just for you.