Sunday, February 15, 2009

Halva-ye Havij (Carrot Pudding w/rose water and cardamon)

I made a feast for Valentine's Day for my husband and my Mother-in-law Shahla. My father-in-law is in Iran so I had her share the day with us. It was a pleasure to watch her win against my husband in Backgammon 6 out of 7 times! He usually wins when we play so often that I don't play with him anymore. It was satisfying to see the tables turned! We enjoyed this carrot pudding with tea and fruit while they played. It was the best item of the night, and my husband ranked it a 9, which is very high for him! :)

Halva-ye Havij
1 lb carrots, shredded
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. water
1/4 c. butter
1 c. sifted rice flour
2 c. milk (whole, skim, or soy works--I used soy)
1/2 tsp. ground saffron dissolved in 1/4 c. rose water
1 tsp cardamom
2 tblsps. chopped pistachios
2 tbslps. chopped almonds

In a saucepan over medium heat combine the water and the sugar and cook and stir until sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved add the shredded carrots, and cook over medium to low heat until carrots become very soft and mushy. This could take up to 45 minutes.

Once the carrots are soft and mushy, transport them to a blender and puree the mix and set aside.

In a large skillet melt the butter on medium heat and gradually add the rice flour and milk. Whisk the mixture so it is thick but not too thick. If it is too thick (like the consistency of already cooked pudding) add more milk. Be sure to whisk thoroughly so to dissolve all of the flour.

Once the pudding is thick, add the carrot mixture, cardamom, and the saffron-rose water mixture. Continue to whisk constantly until it thickens to the point where your arm is getting a little tired (possibly 10-15 minutes :) (this is how I gauge it).

Once the pudding is ready pour into a large shallow dish or individual serving dishes and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

When the pudding mixture is cooled completely garnish with the chopped pistachios and almonds and serve with cardamom tea. Yummy!