February 14, 2016

Carrot Halwa 'Cheese'cake

East meets west on Valentine's Day  ... Here is a fusion of 2 classic desserts, one from India and one from the US. Walk into any punjabi (or most indian restaurants outside of india) restaurant and you cannot miss 'Gajar ka halwa' (Carrot halwa). The same is true of New York and its quintessential Cheesecake.

I have used the carrot halwa as the base for my 'cheese'cake made with wholesome ingredients such as cashew nuts, coconut oil and raw honey. For the Valentine Day, I have modified it by adding some beets to the carrot giving it a natural red color. Try it and you will really feel the halwa and cheese melting in your tongue with their unique tastes.  Happy Valentine's Day 

For carrot halwa base:

  • Carrots - 2 medium
  • Beets - 1 small 
  • Organic unrefined cane sugar - 1/2 cup 
  • Cardamom - 4-5 pods (skin removed and powdered)
  • Homemade non-dairy milk - 1/2 cup (recipes here
For 'cheese'cake:

  • Raw cashew nuts - 1 cup (preferably soaked for 3-4 hours) 
  • Coconut oil - 1/4 cup
  • Lemon juice - 1/4 cup
  • Raw honey - 1/4 cup

Directions for carrot halwa:

  • Grate carrots and beets.
  • Start cooking on medium heat covered stirring frequently. In about 10 minutes, they should nice and soft.
  • Add milk and cook till veggies are cooked well and moisture is completely absorbed for   5-8 minutes. 
  • Add sugar and continue cooking, stirring continuously. Once halwa is soft and easily separating from the pan, switch off the flame.
  • Grease 2 4inch spring form pans with coconut oil. 
  • Divide the halwa into 2 parts and fill into the pans and spread evenly.
  • Set aside to cool while you prepare the filling.
Directions for 'cheese'cake:

  • Blend everything in a high speed blender till creamy.
  • Divide into 2 parts and fill in to spring form pans prepared with carrot halwa base.
  • Freeze for several hours to set. (I usually make this previous day)
  • Take out and remove from spring form pan. 
  • Slice and let it thaw for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy in good company !!!

..  and here is the original carrot halwa version ..no beets here..

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