An Indian supper

February 14, 2010

I was heading off to a birthday party in west London last night. Rather rashly, I offered to contribute a pudding to the Indian-themed meal, and after a glance through a cookery book called simply Indian Cookery by Dharamjit Singh (one of my mum’s 1970s staple recipe books, which has been passed on to me), I decided on what I thought was a very straightforward dish – gajjar karrah, or carrot halva.

The list of ingredients was short and basic, and the method simple, so off I set, cooking vast amounts of grated carrot in several pints of milk. Boil until reduced to a quarter of the original volume, Dharamjit instructed.

What he didn’t tell me was that to reduce that amount of liquid would take about three hours! A fact I didn’t realise until an hour and a half into the boiling, when the milk had reduced by barely half. Oh well, I didn’t have anything else to do with my Saturday afternoon.

Luckily, I’d started early enough to finish the halva in time to catch my train – and the guests at the party thought it tasted very authentic. Phew…


5 Responses to “An Indian supper”

  1. Choclette Says:

    What a lovely colour. I think I tried making this many years ago but it wasn’t a success. Probably because I didn’t have the patience to stand there for 3 hours. I’m sure your patience was much appreciated.

  2. I’m sure if I’d known in advance that it would take three hours, I would have given up much earlier!
    The colour is thanks to some Iranian saffron I bought in Istanbul. If you ever go there, I’d definitely recommend buying it – it’s amazing stuff.

  3. Janice Says:

    I hope they were duly appreciative! I wonder if it would work with tinned condensed milk?

  4. They certainly were appreciative! Made the three hours of stirring much more worthwhile.
    I’m sure there probably is a method using condensed milk – I think it’s actually used quite a lot in Indian milky puddings. I have to be honest, I’m really not a fan of the stuff, although I suppose you wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference once all the other flavours were added.

  5. MaryMoh Says:

    Love the colour. Looks healthy and delicious. I love it.

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