Saturday, December 8, 2012

Carrot Halwa | Gajar ka Halwa | 100th post

What occasion is it? Yes, my 100the post! Yaaaaaay :-)! When I started this blog, I did set a goal to get to a 100 before the end of this year and I am very happy I kept at this. And frankly the 90s have been difficult. Now I understand why the Master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar struggled to get to a 100 centuries ;). Okay, now thats a little too much, the anology, I know ;)

Its been nothing but an enjoyable 10 months obsessing over this blog. Its become so much a part of my life and surely will continue to be so. Thanks to all of you who have been visiting, trying recipes from here and giving me feedback, that's one of the key things that pushes this blog forward. Please continue to do so :).

I also have one more update here, foodoverip has moved to its own custom domain If you happen to use the blog-spot suffix, you will be re-directed to

To celebrate the 100th post, I made a classic winter dessert - Carrot halwa, popularly known as Gajar Ka Halwa. Winter is peeking into Mumbai and that means lush red winter carrots. These are the carrots that are traditionally used to make gajar halwa as against the orange colored carrots. S loves gajar halwa, and hes been at me for almost a year now to use these red carrots for making Carrot Halwa. I never got around to do it until today when he went shoping alone and dumped on me a bag of these winter carrots. And so the carrot halwa was re-born in my kitchen :)

I am not even going to start to say how yum and delicious they were, you just have to try it out yourself :-)


Serves - 4
Prep Time - 15 min
Cook time - 1 hr

Carrots - 1 Kg [approx 10 carrots] - Grated
Milk - 2.5 cups mixed with 1/4 cup water
Sugar - 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp
Elachi powder - 1 generous pinch
Ghee - 4 Tbsp
Cashews - 10
Raisins - 5-6

How do you do it

1. Heat a tsp of ghee in a heavy/thick base non stick pan. Fry the cashews and raisins and set aside.

2. Add 1 more tbsp of ghee to the pan. Add the grated carrot and saute for 2-3 minutes until they turn a lighter shade. This to get rid of the rawness of the carrot.

3. Once done, add the milk into the pan and bring to boil. Then reduce the flame to medium, close with a lid, and let the carrots get cooked in the milk. This is going to take some time. It takes close to 30 minutes for the carrots to get softer/mashed and for the milk to reduce. Keep stirring now then during the 30 minutes.

4. Once almost most of the milk has been absorbed by the carrots, add the elachi powder, sugar , remaining ghee and stir it in. Once done, the carrots mixture will tend to loosen again. Let it again cook for another 15 minutes until the halwa starts to leave the sides of the pan. Add the cashews and raisins now and mix it well.

Serve this warm carrot halwa with a scoop of ice-cream. Yum! 

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tomato Thokku | Tomato Pickle

Dear Tomato Thokku,

You were supposed to be my 100th post, I was constantly debating if I should push you down to 99. I also noticed my frequency at posting here has become quite less, that has nothing to do with you, I just have a zillion things to do at the moment. Owing to the many changes that will happen in due course, I decided that my 100th post has to be some Indian sweet, aptly coinciding with the holiday season :-).

I spent a few hours on an uneventful weekend to prepare two bottles of tomato thokku. I have relished you over the past few months and how comfortable it was not to think about preparing a side-dish for rice, dosai, roti, pesarattu/adai, etc. I just serve you with every meal and everybody is happy. Nobody complains. Thats how good and addictive you were :).

So I hope you understand that even though my 100th on this blog will be an Indian sweet, I absolutely think that you are one of the most delicious recipe of my Amma.


Now that I am done with my apology note for making this as the 99th post, we shall move on to the super recipe of this tomato thokku! ;). This recipe does take a lot of time, but if you can get it done over the weekend,  the work-week forward will be such a breeze with respect to cooking, as you can serve this up with almost anything.


Recipe Source - Amma
Serves - approx 800 ml of pickle/thokku.
Spice Level - Moderate
Prep Time - 1 hr
Cook time - 2hrs

Ripe Tomatoes - 2 kg [approx 20 nos.]
Oil - 1/2 cup plus few tbsp
Mustard - 1tbsp + 1 Tsp
Hing - 1 Tsp
Fenugreek powder - 3/4 Tsp
Red chilli powder - 2.5 Tbsp

Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt - as per need

How do you do it

1. Bring a large stew pot filled with 3/4 water to boil. Once it starts boiling , add all the tomatoes in the pot. Let the tomatoes get cooked for about 20 minutes in the boiling water. At this time you can see the tomatoes skin peeing off. Once done, switch off flame. Let the tomatoes rest in the hot water for about 20-30 minutes.

2. After the resting time, remove the tomatoes, cool them and peel the skin off. Keep aside. Drain the water off from the stew pot. 

3. Heat 1/2 cup oil in the stew pot. Add hing and mustard , let them splutter.

4. Standing at a safe distance , your face away from the pot, drop all the tomatoes in. A little spluttering will happen now. Add a  pinch of turmeric and salt and give the tomatoes a quick stir. Close the stew pot with a lid.

5. On medium flame, let the tomatoes cook. They should completely break down, reducing into a liquid mass. This will take close to 1.5hr to 2 hrs. Keep stirring, mashing up the tomatoes every now and then with your ladle. Mid time or towards the end of the 2 hrs, if you feel that the mixture is sticking too much to the pan or if its a little dry, add a few tbsp of oil and stir it in.

6. After 1.5-2 hrs, once the tomatoes have reduced completely [few  thick pieces of tomatoes here and there are okay], add salt, chilli powder, fenugreek powder and mix well. Let the reduced tomatoes thicken into a pickle consistency.

7. Check for spice-salt level, add more if necessary. Once the correct consistency is reached, switch off flame. Cool and store in refrigerator. Keeps well for about 2-3 weeks.

This is like an universal side dish. It goes well with curd rice, rasam rice, dosai, rotis, bread and many others. Beware - its very addictive :)

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