Carrot Pudding, also called 'Gajar Halwa' is a very popular Indian dessert, made during religious Festivals and holiday, and served at wedding parties.  It is quite simple to make, and incredibly tasty.  You never would have imagined that a carrot could taste this good!  Your kids will be licking their bowls!

Serves 4-6
2 lbs. fresh carrots
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
2 tsp. ground cardamom
4 tbsp. fresh butter
5 tbsp. powdered milk
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup slivered almonds or cashewnuts or pistachios
Peel and grate the carrots to prepare the mixture. In heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, ground cardamom and carrots. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
Reduce the heat and continue stirring. Cook the carrot mixture on medium heat for approximately 30 to 45 minutes until milk is completely absorbed.
Remove from heat, and add sweetened condensed milk and butter. Stir vigorously until well blended. Return to low heat to continue cooking. Return mixture to low heat and continue cooking until carrots become very soft and dry In small bowl, combine powdered milk with a few spoons of water to make a paste.
Add milk mixture to carrot mixture in small spoonfuls. Combine slowly, then stir in raisins, and nuts.
Cover and store in refrigerator for at least 8 to 10 hours, preferably overnight before serving. 

Authors Note:
This dish can be served hot or cold. Try eating both, and then decide on your preference. It tastes wonderful served hot with a scoop of vanilla Ice cream!

Vegan Vegetable Omelette or Pancake - also known as Thali Peeth

This is my first post in over a year. The truth is -  Life got so busy, I just had no time!! As W.H. Davies aptly quotes in 'Leisure'... "What is life - if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare....?!"  More and more I got to thinking about that poem - and more and more I started longing for the luxury of just being able to hibernate ( it was winter after all) at home doing nothing and finally....I have two whole weeks before I start up with my new job!  This opportunity arose quite suddenly - as some opportunities are known to do.... and now I have ....TIME!  
So I am grabbing it! Lord knows how long it may be before I am able to post my next recipe :0)

Thalipeeth is a savory mildly spiced nutritious multi-grain pancake popular in Western India. It is made in Maharashtra and is a simple staple food of the region. The dough is made from a special flour consisting of chickpea flour, millet flour, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, whole wheat flour and rice flour. Onion, green chillies, cilantro, brown sugar, other vegetables are added to make this pancake more nutritious, and a whole meal. When you spread the pancake out, it looks just like an omelette, so we call it Vegetarian Omelette at home. It is also naturally vegan.  
It is usually served with white home made butter (a type of whey) and is very popular amongst local 
Maharashtrians.  It may also be served with thick ghee - a kind of delicious clarified butter, local chutneys, 
and sometimes even with thick Greek-like yogurt. The recipe is so quick and easy to whip up, it is really useful to serve as a quick snack to unexpected guests ( try making mini ones) or as an after school snack for kids.
I like to add vegetables like grated carrots,cauliflower, broccoli, celery, spinach or cabbage - anything I can find in my fridge or freezer to increase nutritional content and make the meal more substantial in case of lunch or dinner. 
In the recipe below - I have used the basic ingredients for this pancake and used flours readily available here in the USA.

Quick mildly spiced Vegan Omlette - Pancake

1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour (optional)
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tbsp fine semolina (cream of wheat)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsp minced onion
4-5 green chillies, minced OR 1-2 tsp red chilli powder 

1 small chopped tomato
2 tbsp cilantro, minced
salt to taste
vegetable oil or spray for cooking

Mix all the ingredients (except oil) together to make a thick batter.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan or use cooking spray to coat the pan and gently add a spoonful on to the pan, the size will depend on the size of the pancake you want to make. Spread the batter out evenly to create a round shaped pancake. Cook till browned and crispy and then carefully use a large spatula to turn over to cook the other side. Cook till crispy on both sides. 
I love to serve thalipeeth with green coconut chutney (I have posted an earlier recipe for this on my blog)  and either some plain yogurt or a dollop of butter, but you can serve this wonderful pancake with any dip you like. 
Serve hot.


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