We as Indians know the importance of sweets in our lives. Every special occasion is incomplete without meetha. Whether it’s about our new car, housewarming, festivals, or some happy event, no vital thing is ever done without something sweet, and gajar ka halwa is the most staple dessert of all time.
The aromatic fragrance of gajar ka halwa or gajrela is a delight for the mind, nose and tastebuds. It brings the blast of flavours inside our mouth by leaving us in awe of its joy. Gajar ka halwa is a popular Indian dessert made with loads of carrots, ghee, milk, khoya, sugar, nuts and cardamom. Gajar ka halwa is enjoyed chiefly during cold winters.
For me, gajar ka halwa is love at first sight. Since childhood, I remember my parents bringing scrumptious red carrots during the winter season from the market. From that moment, I knew it was the time for hot and tasty gajar ka halwa, and my excitement knew no bounds.
At the risk of exaggeration, I don’t remember a single winter day where we did not have a bowl full of gajar ka halwa in the fridge. After every meal, I used to jump towards the refrigerator, scoop out a big spoonful of halwa, and enjoy its heavenly taste.
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The origin of gajar ka halwa
Gajar ka halwa, otherwise called gajrela, is a sweet pudding-like dish of carrots stewed in milk cooked with sugar, flavours, nuts and ghee. This wonderful Indian dessert originated from the Mughal's era from something that was called Mughlai Mithai (Mughlai Sweetmeats).
The beginning of halwa can be traced back to 3000 BC! A couple of antiquarians have discovered hints of greasy and gummy dessert in mid-twelfth-century writing of Istanbul. The word halwa itself can be followed back to Arabic, which implies sweet dish or sweetmeat. It is called halawa in Egypt, halvas in Greece, halvah in Hebrew, hilva in Arabic, helva in Turkey and halava in Sanskrit.
Halwa is globally known as a sweet crush that can be made with many vegetables, foods grown from the ground Daal. The base fixing is blended in with milk, sugar and Mava, cooked at low temperature.
Even though the beginning of Halwa could be followed back to Arabia, it couldn't be more Indian than it is now. It has had such an impact in the subcontinent that the sweet confectioners are known as 'halwais' until today and will consistently continue being called so.
Halwa came to India and won the hearts of the multitude of sweet lovers. The spectacle of fluorescent orange carrots made gently in milk, and dry fruits, imbued with all that sweetness, is sufficient for anyone to lose their heart.