Beetroot halwa, an easy Indian dessert made with grated beets cooked in milk and sugar, topped with cashews and flavoured with dry ginger powder and cardamom powder.
When it comes to beetroot halwa, I count the memories and not the calories! It is said that the fondest memories are made gathered around the table. I completely agree with the statement and that meals have a stronger power to evoke your emotion and senses. It instantly triggers your memories and makes you travel down the lane to try reliving those moments again.
The very thought of beetroot halwa transports me back to those good old summer vacation days religiously spent with grandma every year. The golden period of my life; spoilt to the core by my uncles and granny, being the apple of their eyes and getting pampered. Above all, solid two months without parental supervision, what more could a child ask for, eh?
In every child's heart, there is a special place for his/ her granny and reciprocally. It is a celestial relationship that cannot be described in words. So was ours. She was the one who raised me in my toddler years, carrying me around wherever she went. In a heartbeat I would choose my granny over my mom. I wish I could have those days back again!
Memories of my granny have slowly faded away and so has her mental image in my mind. I may not be remembering my granny every day but the strong emotional connect I had with her will remain with me forever. Things and people constantly remind me of her, some fun-filled and some not so fond memories. While the blue chair in my parent’s house constantly reminds me of her death (that’s the chair in which she breathed her last breath), beetroot halwa and sabudana (tapioca) kheer remind me of her love towards me. It instantly evokes so much happiness in my heart and I travel down the lane to relive those joyful moments again. Every vacation, unfailingly, I was treated to this colourful sweet delight. This used to be my evening snack.
As the title implies, this post is for my dear granny who now lives with me only in my memories.
In general for carrot and beet halwa, veggies are peeled, grated and cooked in milk and water in a medium flame. Pressure cooking method saves time, is easier and mess free to a certain extent.
Beetroot halwa, an easy Indian dessert made with grated beets cooked in milk and sugar, topped with cashews and flavoured with dry ginger and cardamom powder.
- 2.5 cups grated beetroot
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoon ghee | clarified butter divided
- 1/2 tablespoon broken cashews, roasted or almonds or any nuts you prefer
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dry ginger powder optional
Peel and grate the beets using a fine grater. You can also use a food processor.
In a heavy bottomed pan or Kadai, heat 1 tablespoon ghee on medium high flame. Roast the cashews until it becomes golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
(1) If the beets are fresh and tender (in season):
Add the grated beets, milk and water on an open heavy bottomed pan or kadai. Cook on medium high flame until the beets become soft for about 12-15 minutes. Then proceed from step 4 onwards.
(2) The second way is to cook the beets in a pressure cooker for about 10 minutes on medium flame or 3-4 whistles (Indian pressure cookers). Add the beets to the heavy bottomed pan along with any remaining liquid and then proceed from step 4 onwards.
Once the beets are completely cooked and the liquid is evaporated, add the sugar and mix it well. Keep stirring until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture becomes thick. In between check for sweetness and add more sugar if needed.
Once the mixture gathers into a whole mass, add fried cashews or almonds and cardamom powder, ginger powder (if using) and mix well. Turn off the stove.
Serving Beetroot Halwa: Serve it warm or at room temperature. It can be had as a dessert or as an evening snack.
- Always use a heavy bottomed pan while making Indian sweets. Most of the recipes especially ones that have milk will burn easily if the pan's bottom does not withstand the heat. Traditionally we use a Vengala panai or a Uruli to make sweets.
- You can also add khoya or condensed milk or milk powder to enrich the dish. Add khoya / condensed milk at the end after adding sugar (step 4). Keep it on stove until the mixture thickens.
- If you are allergic to diary, skip milk and use only water or any non diary milk to cook the beets.