Dessert| No Bake Mini Nutty Carrot Pudding Pies – A Fusion Festive Dessert
Nutty Carrot Pudding a.k.a Gajar Halwa, this ubiquitous dessert hardly needs any introduction to those who love Indian food! This rich, decadent and comforting sweet made with red carrots adorns the dinning table of many households during the chilly winter nights. The juicy sweet red carrots which gives the distinct color and taste to the pudding are available only for a few month in a year and its presence also welcomes the beginning of winter days in India. Fresh carrot juice, pickled carrots in jars, exotic carrot jam, colorful pilaf with tiny chunks of red carrots and just plain carrots is what I love to serve mine.
I remember mom making a huge quantity of carrot halwa and storing it for almost 2-3 months in her refrigerator. Wish I could do the same, but then my children don’t prefer the same dessert over and over again, unless it is served in a different way. Everyone at home like anything served as individual portion, a cupcake or mini pies was what I decided to make out of it.
I made all the three varieties of no-bake crusts given below and served it as Mini Nutty Carrot Pudding Pies. And voila they all disappeared before I could even test which crust was better than the other The crust added the health quotient to the rich and indulging nutty carrot pudding.
These pie crusts are no bake and makes healthy substitute to the All purpose pie crusts which require baking and are time consuming to assemble. The following crust recipes also give a wonderful crunchy texture and flavor to the crust.
Nutty Carrot Pudding or Halwa
- 4 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup sugar/palm sugar/jaggary
- ½ cup crushed nuts (cashew/almond/pistachio)
- 1 tbsp clarified butter/ghee
- A few raisins
- 1 tsp. cardamom powder
Method; Wash and grate carrots. Heat clarified butter/ghee in a heavy bottom vessel. Add grated carrots and sauté for a few minutes.
Add milk and keep cooking at slow flame till all the liquid is absorbed and the carrots look like a semi solid ball.
Add palm sugar or white sugar, the pudding will become liquid again. Cook for 5-10 minutes till it all the liquid is dried.
Take off the flame and add powder cardamom, nuts and raisins. Serve it as a dessert with a dollop of ice cream or just plain.
A Few Healthy Pie Crusts
1. Cookie Crust;
- 1 cup digestive biscuits
- 1 tbsp. powder sugar
- 4 tbsp. butter
- A few drops of milk
2. Cornflakes Crust
- 1 cup crushed cornflakes/wheat flakes
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. honey
3. Nutty Crust
- 1 cup Almond meal flour
- 10-12 Medjool Dates (juicy dates)
- A few drops of water
Method; All the recipes above follow the same process. Just grind all the ingredients in a blender and make dough. Use more liquid if the dough is too dry to make pies.
Nutty Carrot Pies
Arrange paper cup liners in a muffin tray and fill each with half of the pie crust mix. Press the crumbles slightly to make a firm pie crust.
Top it with carrot pudding and press it with the back of a spoon. Garnish it with more crushed nuts if you desire and serve.
Nutty base or cornflakes/wheat flakes will give a wonderful crunch and texture to the carrot pudding.
You can always mix and match the ingredients to make a creative crust of your own.
Serve these mini nutty carrot pies in colorful paper cups as a party dessert or during birthday parties for kids. The pie is a great way to reduce the quantity of rich and indulging carrot pudding in each serving and thereby making it almost a healthy and guilt free dessert.
Isn’t it an easy and fun way to serve our traditional sweet, use your imagination and create different crusts and serve yours. will it also make a good Valentine day’ gift? Let me know..
- You could use condensed milk in place of milk to make it into more exotic and rich treat.
- Fry the nuts and raisins in a little clarified butter/ghee, it gives a crunch and wonderful aroma to the nuts.
- You can replace bottle gourd, sweet potato and pumpkin with carrots to make the same pudding.
- These pies stay good for 5-6 days as there is no water in the recipe.
- Try the same dessert recipe with Apple pudding. Replace the grated carrots with apples.