I am trying to get back to regular blogging and I am feeling quite rusty. Having said that, when it is the tenth of the month, I have to make sure that I don’t miss out on a challenge that I nurture and manage – the Muslim Food Blogger Challenge! It has been an amazing journey so far and each challenge has been accepted by my fellow bloggers with a lot of enthusiasm. It is this support that makes me want to keep the challenge going on. I am pretty excited by the fact that the challenge is approaching one year in November. Definitely another pointer to keep continuing, InShaAllah…
This month, we are exploring Pakistani cuisine. We had done Indonesian cuisine a few months ago, and as per statistics, Pakistan is the second largest Muslim country in the world. Pakistani food is very similar to the Muslim inspired North Indian and Hydrebadi cooking. Looking back into history will assure of that fact that the cuisine is so much shared. Since Pakistan is more land locked, the cuisine concentrates on a lot of meat and basic vegetable for its food. Its desserts are heavily milk based and use seasonal fruits and vegetables. Ever since I had decided on the theme, my mind has been wanting to make the Gajrela, which is a cousin of my favorite Gajar Ka Halwa! I would’ve loved to try one of their amazing “gosht” (mutton) recipes, but InShaAllah, that had to wait for this simple dessert.
Gajrela is very similar to gajar halwa, except for the fact that it has rice as an ingredient. So it is basically a thick carrot spiked kheer! I really don’t remember where I discovered the Gajrela, but after a little research, I ended up making this way and we totally loved it. I have tried to “healthify” the dessert by not adding any ghee or khoya (milk solids) and therefore, the dessert did show the signs of it. However, if you love your desserts rich, then I have noted down a few notes in the pointers that you can include into the recipe.
Another point is that I have cooked the dessert in the pressure cooker to make it fast. I had cooked this up a day before I left on vacation and I wanted to share some with my colleagues. So I used a pressure cooker to fasten up the process. If you have all the time, then go ahead with the slow cooker way for the best taste. It is a very simple dessert that can be made in a jiffy, once you have the carrots grated and the rice soaked. Off to the recipe…
- 5 medium carrots (around 500-600 gm), cored and grated
- ½ cup basmati rice, soaked for 10 minutes and drained
- 1 liter milk
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- A pinch of salt
- ½ cup sugar (as required)
- 1 tbsp rose water
- Nuts for garnish
- In a pressure cooker, add milk, cardamom powder, salt and carrots and mix well. Slightly crush the rice and add as well. Close the cooker and cook the mixture on medium-low flame for 30 minutes. Switch off and allow the pressure to go on its own.
- Add in the sugar and rose water and mix well. Serve warm with a sprinkle of nuts.
You can cook on stove top, by boiling milk with the rice till the rice becomes soft, then add the carrots and cook till done. Do not forget to stir occasionally to avoid sticking to the bottom!
Usually, khoya (milk solids) is added for additional richness. If available, add around 100 gm at the end of making the dessert and mix well.
You can add condensed milk instead of sugar.