Carrot Semolina Halva
Makes one 8 inch round halva
Halva is a name for a wide range of sweet, buttery Indian pudding-like desserts. Two popular halvas, brilliant orange carrot halva and comforting semolina halva now join forces here for a mellow pudding that feels exotic and familiar at the same time; once chilled it can be sliced up into tender little squares to serve with tea, or serve it warm scooped into parfait glasses. Prepare it will a little less sugar and you’ll have a nourishing breakfast treat.
3 tablespoons vegan margarine
2 large carrots, peeled and finely grated (about 1 ½ cups grated, firmly packed)
3 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cups water
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch ground nutmeg
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup fine semolina flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds or cashew halves
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat melt the margarine and stir in the carrots. Saute the carrots for 3 minutes until softened and juicy, then sprinkle with brown sugar. Saute another 2 to 3 minutes until the carrots look slightly caramelized. Turn off the heat and trasnfere carrots to a bowl. Lightly oil a 8 inch round cake pan.
2. Add the water to the saucepan and bring to boil over high heat. Stir in the sugar, cardamom, salt, nutmeg, raisins, and sauteed carrots and simmer for 1 minute or until the sugar is dissolved. Stirring constantly with whisk, slowly pour in the semolina. Continue to stir until the semolina is very thick and bubbling; you may want to switch to a wooden spoon or heat resistant silicon spatula to continue cooking the thickened semolina. The semolina will have the consistency of thick, sticky dough. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring the entire time, then turn off the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into the oiled cake pan and sprinkle nuts on top.
3. Set halva aside to cool for 30 minutes. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1 inch squares and serve. A plastic knife dipped into water is an easy way to cut neat squares of halva.
4. Alternatively, you can serve the halva as a warm freeform pudding. When halva is done, turn off the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Scoop into serving dishes, then sprinkle each serving with nuts.