We have had a road trip overload.. so I thought I'd give you all a little break with something sweet..
Halva refers to many types of dense, sweet confections, served across the Middle East, Sub - Continent and Africa, just to name a few. I know I don't talk about it much but while I was born and initially raised in Chicago I spent my pre-teens to early adulthood in my parents birth country Pakistan. No, not India and yes there is a difference. :) I met my wonderful husband there though he was in New York during our entire pre-wedded bliss epic long distance engagement era. (can you sense the drama? well drama there was)
I feel it is because I was lucky (though it didn't always feel that way) enough to spend a huge part of my life living in two vastly different countries that I was able to soak up the right amounts of each and bring it not only into our life and in the raising of D but also into my photography.
Wow.. now that was quite a sidetrack.. coming back to the halva.. M was craving some good old fashioned halva and it's just not as easy as it was back home to run out to the bakery and get some.. plus it's usually not as good. So I thought I'd try my hand at it.. seemed simple enough to do..
You start with grating the carrots. The beauty of the halva is that it can be made out of anything.. carrots, squash, pumpkin, potato, just milk, nuts, coconut which is my favorite, semolina which is a close second and anything else that you can think of.. I have even eaten a pineapple halva once.
Add it to a pot and cook it.. it will start to release some liquid.. (I am not a recipe writer so excuse me If I am not describing the process in an appetizing way)
Then add some milk. Whole is better but you can use fat free if you like.. it will just be less rich. Sometimes you can't help it.. richer is just better. My mom would add some heavy cream or half and half just to make it richer.
Now the tedious task of stirring it begins.. it doesn't need to be constant in the beginning but once it starts to thicken then you want to stir more often so it doesn't stick to the pan or burn. Add sugar to taste as well as cardamom powder before it begins to thicken.. keep stirring till it is no longer runny.
Top with roasted almonds.. pistachios are also a good option.. or both..some also add raisins but that is done at an earlier stage so that they can soak up all the milk and get nice and plump. Serve warm.
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