This popular seasonal dessert is made with Gajar or carrots in North India in the wintertime, when red carrots are abundantly available. While most desserts in India are too sweet for my taste, this gem is delicate and heavenly. Traditionally made with milk and ghee, it's also good with almond milk and lots of crunchy fried pistachios as a garnish. Here I buy fresh carrots at the farmer's market, put on some nice music and just enjoy the process of making this gorgeous dessert.
Heat 1 tablespoon vegan butter or coconut oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the nuts cook, stirring, until golden and crunchy, about 2 minutes; remove to a paper towel and set aside.
In the same skillet add the carrots and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the carrots soften and dry up a little, about 10 minutes. Add the almond milk and cardamom and cook, stirring regularly, until most of it is absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the almond flour and cook, stirring regularly, until dry, about another 10 minutes. Add the sugar and cook, stirring regularly, thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons vegan butter or coconut oil and cook, stirring, until the halwa pulls away from the side of the pan, 10 to 15 minutes.
Garnish with the nuts and serve.
Coconut oil makes this very coconutty; it's not authentic but a nice taste nonetheless.
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