What’s your favourite dessert?
My mom’s recipe for making gajrela from sweet pink carrots (gajar) and khoya (reduced milk) has always been my absolute favourite dessert. While it’s available year around in the halwai shops, the traditional cooks who excel in making Indian sweets, it’s best to make gajrela during the winter months. This is because fresh and good quality carrots are available only during the cold months. Moreover, the shop-bought gajrela is no match to the home-made gajrela.
My mother and I made this gajrela together today and my little nephew declared that this is his favourite dessert now! I hope it will become your new favourite too.
- 2 kg carrots peeled and finely shredded
- 300 gram khoya reduced milk
- 300 gram sugar
- 100 gram dry coconut finely grated
- Making khoya at home: You can buy khoya from the halwai shop but we always make it at home and while it's time consuming to make it's pretty easy to make.
- Add 1.5kg of milk to a thick bottom pan and simmer it at low heat while continuously stirring it so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- After about 45 minutes, the liquid will evaporate, leaving behind a solid mass. Continue to stir until no more water is left and the consistency is like room temperature butter.
- Turn off the heat and let the khoya cool.
- Peel the carrots and remove the ends.
- Shred the carrots in a food processor (you can also grate the carrots but it will take few hours to grate them all!)
- Cook the carrots in a pressure cooker on low heat and turn off the heat as soon as the pressure cooker starts to make a hissing sound.
- Open the pressure cooker once it cools down and shift the cooked carrots to a thick-bottom pan.
- Continue to cook the carrots on high heat while continuously stirring them. It will take about an hour before the moisture completely evaporates from the carrots.
- Once the moisture evaporates, add sugar and continue to stir.
- Cook for another 15-20 minutes so that moisture evaporates again. To test whether or not water has evaporated, press against the carrots with a large spoon with a hole and if the juice squeezes out, then it still has water.
- Add in the khoya and mix it well with the carrots.
- Remove from the heat and set it in a plate and sprinkle the grated coconut on top!