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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Beet Halwa

I'm in love...madly in love...
Beets with cardamom in dessert.. Indian style.  Thank you, Indian Khana for making my life complete!
I'm not really into desserts, but I think I could eat this forever and ever and always be happy.  I was hoping to get complaints because of the Indian-ness, so I could have it all to myself, but it was scarfed down by all who tried.  I'll have to find something more strange next time.
Serves 4-5
2 large beets, peeled and grated (approx 5 cups)
2 Tbsp ghee (I used butter)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup condensed milk
2 Tbsp sugar (or not at all)
1/2 tsp freshly roasted and crushed cardamom (about 5 pods)
10-12 tsp cashews
1 Tbsp almond slivers (I didn't have)
1 Tbsp pistachio slivers (I didn't have)
1.  Roast the cashews in the butter, then reserve.  I'm not sure how useful this step is.  I used already roasted cashews.  Oh did you know cashews are not nuts?  They are the external part of a fruit, not the seed.  How naughty!
2.  Use a pressure cooker to cook the grated beets for 8-10 minutes.  You want the raw smell to disappear and you want most of the liquid to evaporate.  Stir continuously during this step.
3.  Add the milk and close the pressure cooker.  Once it starts to hiss, leave it 5 minutes (or for 1 whistle).  Turn off the heat and let the pressure drop by itself before opening.
4.  Open up the pressure cooker and put back on high heat, stirring continuously for 10-12 minutes.  Again, the idea is for most of the liquid to evaporate.  At this point, I took a mouthful and it was already delicious without being Indianized.  Just beets cooked with milk...mmm!
5.  Add the condensed milk and stir in, cooking for 2-3 minutes.
6.  Add the sugar and cook for another 5 minutes.  I could have skipped this.  I don't think it needed extra sugar, but as I said, I don't really have a sweet tooth.  When I make dessert, it usually isn't for me..
7.  Add the cashews and cardamom and cook for another 10 minutes until it gets goopy... meaning when you stir, it doesn't release a liquid trail.  Does that make sense?
8.  Stir in the nuts if using, making sure to keep some for decoration.

Serve warm, close your eyes, and enjoy the journey...
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