Lifestyles change but traditions still keep going strong in Asian households.Beat the rain or sun, young or old, everyone gets involved in making the Festival an occasion to celebrate food, fun and enjoy sweet treats without feeling guilty.
Diwali is one of the most favourite festivals celebrated in India, everyone looks forward to some indulgence and an excuse to party and eat! This is a five day festival that can last for as long as you like in India.The entire household is busy doing chores that they don’t do the rest of the 11 months! There is noise from crackers and tea lights or oil lamps lit, they are sweets and savouries too! I love to treat myself and my family with this feeling that food has to be its best and party with no guilt and that means it has to be healthy and fun! So this Diwali I decided to modify my traditional recipe for a new one which pleased my daughter who is a chocoholic! Delicious Diwali Recipes are so many to choose and every has their favourites, perhaps it is one of the most enjoyable thing to do in October .
Festival of lights is celebrated with exchange of gifts and presents often include home made sweet and savoury to your friends and family to mark the win of good over evil, light over darkness and to have a good hope in the coming year. I am sure this year around you will enjoy cooking the healthiest Gajjar Ka halwa ever and a sure showstopper sweet dish if you are hosting a party this Diwali.
I was extremely delighted when the ASDA team called me to ask me if I could come up with a recipe for their Diwali range in stores and blog about it. Given so many options from sweets to savoury and also being mindful of allergies and vegetarians, and of course my gluten free friends! I was dreaming of recipes apart from trying it out with different options in my kitchen. A quick visit to ASDA made me realise that they have a fantastic range of Asian stuff and I could shop and cook them in minutes. So I came up with this idea that we even if we don’t like nuts, we can decorate it with edible flowers, if we are vegans we could substitute it for almond milk or coconut or rice milk. No bake means one less thing to do!
My No bake tart with Classic Carrot Halwa which Asians love to indulge in during festivities but with a healthy version for a Diwali Recipe is easy to make at home and celebrate the festivities with total indulgence!
This recipe has a treat for all and keeping in mind the tradition, the health freaks and the sweet tooth. The Tart is made with Almond flour and coconut oil and no refined sugar. Suitable for vegans and GlutenFree. ( You could use Walnut flour or Chestnut flour too)
The filling is made with Organic Carrots if you fancied it, take a trip down to ASDA to get all recipes for making this Indian Diwali Asian dessert recipe Carrot Halwa or Gajjar Halwa as we know it. It’s a traditional recipe with a modern take on it. A definite show stopper at a Dinner Table this Diwali.
This is nutty based dessert filled with all the richness of cream, Ghee, nuts and Chocolate. Decadent treat, no stress, No-Bake and a recipe to suit all palette. With a one stop hop to ASDA you can even get the grated carrots from the food and vegetable section to save time. There are alternatives for Vegans in this recipe who may choose to substitute this for coconut cream for condensed milk, Almond milk, Rice milk available at specialists shops and some now available in ASDA too. Taste may vary but its contentment for all!
It is really a no bake recipe,less energy to wipe down messy tables making tart cases. Me I love to bake and cook but hate washing up like everyone does, if chopping wasn’t good enough I don’t want to land up using too many things to complicate the cooking process. So simple is the way to go. A visit to the local supermarket fishing for ingredients for this recipe wasn’t hard as ASDA now stocks all the asian condiments, you just have to make a list and head over or even better is their online shopping which is so simple.http://www.asda.co.uk
Taking into consideration the only time I really spent was when cooking the carrots, which in my opinion you need a large chunk of patience to make sure that you don’t overcook the carrots and burn them.
So, Tart was literally made in minutes measuring it all up in one pot and binding them together and pressing them down in then tart cases. You can do a big one, just in case you want everyone to look at your masterpiece after the heavy meal.But I do like small portions and fancied making them in small Tart cases.
While you are waiting for the tart cases to be chilled. Crack on with cooking the carrots. You can get all variety of Carrots these days from organic to grow your own or even better head over to ASDA vegetable section where you can find readily chopped carrots for you. You can even order it online.Traditionally speaking, we use to cook with red carrots which give them a very rich colour, but if you are not the fussy kind, I assure you these carrots work just the same. Peel them and put them into a blitzer if you have one, which do veg chopping even more better, ASDA stocks some of them too.Have a peek into their Home and Kitchen section and order one online. But if you are happy to do the old school way of grated it, go ahead and use them.
I used mine with my kitchen aid which has some different settings to chop and grate and I got it all done in few minutes.
I did forget to take pictures while I was cooking the carrots as I was concentrating on not burning them! if that makes sense! I did not want my IPhone cooking too!
Take a broad pan to cook the carrots. Add milk and some cardamom powder and heat it for at a low heat to infuse the flavour of Cardamom(2-3 min). Add the grated Carrot and cook them till the milk disappears from the pan. Add the Ghee/Butter I used the Desi Ghee or you can use the ASDA range of organic unsweetened butter/low fat version and melt it down .
You just need a watchful eye to make sure that you cook it through and you can see the Carrot turning a bit sticky on the sides and getting brown too. Add the condensed milk and the rest of the full fat milk( Vegans- if you are using coconut milk or almond milk).
Cool it down once cooked and put them into the Tart cases and you can either chill them or serve it warm, but I reckon its an individual choice, but I choose to chill it in the fridge.Left the garnishing for later!
As you can see in my pictures which was taken after I sat down with my Nikon D3100 and got my studio shot. I am obsessed with presentation and I believe that our eyes speak and you must always leave them to speak and take in that feeling I want to eat. My garnishing was very simple but rich in tradition as Diwali festivities are always with nuts,cream,sweetness. I opted to use some pistachios,and almond flakes not making them to heavy as wanted it to be light and enjoyable. Garnished it with some Mediterranean rose petals which was available at ASDA to my surprise! I was delighted to use it in my presentation. Crush the pistachios and sprinkle them gently over the Carrot Halwa and few rose petals to give it an exotic look!
Asians love this combination with some ice cream usually and now you are spoilt for choice with ASDA’s range of ice-cream flavours. But I think the recipe is good on its own without any extra flavours and is best enjoyed in this version. My chocoholics at home were happy and so were the older generation as I blended the traditional effect of Desi Ghee,nuts, milk and Carrots to make a scrumptious Chocolate Almond Tart Gajjar Ka Halwa AKA Carrot Halwa. My take on the traditional recipe giving it a little tweak serving it in a Tart. So enjoy foodies and I am sure you will enjoy this as much as I enjoyed making this in my kitchen for Diwali. Head over to my recipe section for the recipe.
Its got-2 b Diwalicious!!
Btw: Keep in mind all shopping was done online at ASDA Supermarket who stock all Asian condiments!
Look Forward to your pictures with your lovely comments and suggestions! and yes Ive taken a lot of time to edit and take these pictures..please do give credit to my work if your linking it in your social media. It would mean a lot to me. However all I ask of you is to ask me permission to use my work and pictures so we appreciate each others effort.
Happy Cooking and Happy Diwali to you all!