Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 25 mins | Serves 4
- 2 firmly packed cups of raw, grated beetroot (approx 4 small-medium sized beetroots washed, peeled & grated)
- 180 grams (2 tiny tins) sweetened condensed milk
- 3 tablespoons sugar (optional – for additional sweetness, adjust to taste)
- 1-1/2 cups milk (or 3/4th cup milk+3/4th cup water)
- 3 pods of cardamom powdered
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 2 tablespoons mixed nuts (cashew nut halves, almond slivers, chopped pistachios)
- 2 tablespoons ghee
1. Transfer the grated beetroot into the pressure cooker and add the milk (or the milk and water mixture), stir to combine and close the lid. Place the weight (whistle) and cook on a full flame until 2 whistles go off. Remove from heat and let the pressure cooker cool down to room temperature
2. When the weight loosens up, open the lid, stir the contents and if there is still a lot of liquid it it, place the cooker back on a low heat for the beets to cook again. Let the halwa simmer until the excess liquid evaporates and the beetroot is well cooked and the halwa thickens up. This should take about 10-12 minutes
3. Add the condensed milk and give it a good mix. Continue to simmer for another 3-4 minutes making sure to stir in between so that the halwa doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Check the taste and add the additional sugar only if required. (see notes)
4. While the halwa is simmering in another smaller pan heat the ghee. When it is hot (but not smoking) add the raisins and fry them till they puff up – remove quickly before they burn. In the same ghee add the mixed nuts and fry till they turn pale golden. Remove and keep aside.
5. Add the fried raisins, nuts and the powdered cardamom to the halwa. Mix once and
If you don’t have a pressure cooker you can cook this in a regular pan (wide based, such as a kadhai/wok). It will take you longer though and will need you to be present to keep checking, stirring the contents. However, halwas made over a slow fire over a longer period of time are deemed more tasty.
When the beetroots are initially placed in the cooker you may add just about 1/2 a pinch of salt. The addition of salt helps to bring out the flavours more prominently.
Remember that beetroots may not be very sweet so you may need to add the sugar, however do not add the sugar when the halwa is piping hot – when the food is hot the taste buds are deceived into thinking that the sugar is less. Take a small amount of halwa and when it is cool enough, taste it and then add the additional sugar if required.