Carrot Kheer – Dani Valent

A subtle Indian dessert based on thickened milk and sweet carrots

Following my recent trip to Mumbai, I’m thrilled to share an Indian dessert recipe inspired by prominent UK Indian chef Anjum Annand. Carrot in dessert may not be something you’re used to but then – who doesn’t love carrot cake?

As Anjum says, “Most Indian desserts are based on lentils, grains, vegetables and rice. Words alone may not convince you that a chilled dessert of creamy thickened milk with floating threads of sweet carrot and the added crunch of nuts is a perfect, light dessert but that’s why you have to taste it!”

And the tasting is delicious. This dessert is a great one to make ahead – a day or two in the fridge is fine, so long as it is tightly sealed.

Serves: 4 – 6
Time: 1 hour, plus cooling time

Ingredients

  • 800 grams (28.2 oz) milk
  • 200 grams (7 oz) carrots, peeled and chopped in 2cm (1 in) pieces
  • 30 grams (1.4 oz) sugar
  • 6 or so saffron strands
  • ½ tsp cardamom seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle (or use powdered cardamom)
  • 2 tbsp pistachios, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted

Method

Traditional Method

1. Over low flame, heat the milk in a heavy saucepan, stirring frequently so it doesn’t catch. Stir for approx. 30 minutes or until it’s reduced by about one-third.

2. Add carrots and cook for a further 40 minutes or until they are soft. The milk will evaporate and thicken – cook to your desired texture.

3. Add sugar, saffron and cardamom. Stir through and cook for another minute or two.

4. Turn off heat and let cool, then cover and refrigerate. When ready to eat, spoon into serving bowls and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Thermomix Method

1. Place milk in mixing bowl and reduce 30 min/100°C (212°F) /speed 5. If using a TM6, use splatter guard. If using a TM31 or TM5, remove MC and place steamer basket on mixing bowl lid. Keep an eye on the machine because hot milk bubbles a lot. If it froths up, pause for a few seconds, or increase to speed 5.5 to settle it down.

2. Add carrots and chop 20 sec/speed 7. Cook 20 min/100°C (212°F) /speed 5.

3. Add sugar, saffron and cardamom. Cook 2 min/100°C (212°F) /speed 2. Assess the texture. Kheer can be any consistency you desire, from thin cream to thick custard consistency. It will thicken slightly as it cools, but you can also continue to reduce at this point to thicken. Mix for a further 10 min/100°C (212°F) /speed 4 or until desired texture is attained.

4. Transfer into a container and allow to cool. When ready to eat, spoon into serving bowls and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Tips

  • You can halve this recipe. You may not need the full cooking time at step 2 – keep an eye on the mixture and move to step 3 once desired texture is achieved.

Variations

  • Use red carrots when you can find them at farmers’ markets or specialist grocers.
  • Sugar can be omitted or replaced with alternative sweeteners, such as honey or maple syrup.

More about this recipe

  • I have so many delicious Indian recipes! Take a look here!
  • Want to get your sweet tooth on? I have plenty more dessert recipes here.
  • Thinking carrot? This Carrot Cake is crazy good!
  • Now that you’re all good with carrot in desserts, you definitely want to know about my Carrot Cordial!
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