here. I took notice, after I made the decision to cook just that dish today, that I only had 1 serving of my favorite Indian rice left in the freezer, so of course I needed to make another batch of that! THEN...as if this wasn't enough, I went out to eat Indian food last night with my awesome friend Neetu (who is from northern India and knows so much about my favorite foods!!!). The restaurant we were going to go to appears to be permanently closed, so we had to do a Google search and see what we could find. We found Madras Pavillion just a couple miles away and went there. Neetu felt bad because as soon as we got there, it was obvious that this was a strictly vegetarian only fare restaurant. Neetu is a vegetarian by birth and religion, but she honestly didn't know this was a vegetarian only location. She offered to find another restaurant that had meat, but I insisted that it wasn't a problem and I'm sure there was something I would like, just without meat. I have said before that some of my favorite dishes just happen to be vegetarian and/or vegan. She went over the menu with me and we finally decided that I would get the North Indian Thali. It's basically a round tray about the size of a large pizza with many small dishes set on it. Each little dish has basically a sample of a different food. There were potatoes, channa (chickpeas), okra, eggplant, biryani, vegetable yogurt, a couple other ones I don't remember, and then there was the gajar halwa. OMG. This dish is basically a dessert. It's shredded sweet carrots. So, I of course, had to look up a recipe and try and make it myself. And that's what I did.
• 2 lbs stew beef, cubed
• 5 cloves garlic, minced
• 4 ts grated ginger root
• 4 tsp ground turmeric
• 2 tsp garam masala
• 2 tsp ground coriander
• 2 tsp ground cumin
• 1.5 cups non-fat plain yogurt
• 1 tbsp sea salt
• 3 tbsp ghee
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1/4 cup no salt added tomato paste
• 2 tsp ground cardamom
• 2 14oz cans no salt added diced tomatoes
• 2 cups heavy whipping cream
• combine garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cumin in a small bowl. whisk yogurt, salt and half of spice mixture in a medium bowl. add beef and turn to coat.
• heat ghee in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. add onion, tomato paste, and cardamom and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste has darkened and onion is soft, about 5 minutes. add remaining half of spice mixture and cook, stirring often, until bottom of pan beings to brown, about 4 minutes.
• add tomatoes with juices. bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, until sauce thickens, 8-10 minutes.
• add cream. simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 30-40 minutes.
• meanwhile, preheat broiler. line a baking sheet with foil. spread the beef coated with the yogurt-spice mixture evenly on sheet. broil about 8 minutes.
• add beef to sauce, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beef is cooked through, 8-10 minutes. serve with my Indian rice.
GAJAR HALWA (INDIAN SWEET CARROTS)
• 2.5 cups grated carrots
• 2.5 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
• 1/3 cup fat free sweetened condensed milk
• 4 tbsp truvia
• 3 tsp ground cardamom
• 3 tbs chopped unsalted cashews
• 1/8 cup chopped pistachios
• 1/4 cup raisins
• 2.5 tbsp ghee
• wash, peel and grate the carrots.
• mix the almond milk and grated carrot together in a pan and simmer, stirring occasionally.
• after 15-20 minutes, add cardamom and stir.
• when the mixture has started to thicken, add truvia and ghee, stirring occasionally.
• when the mixture has almost dried, add the condensed milk, raisins and nuts. continue stirring and cook for 2-3 minutes.
**traditionally served hot or warm.
**stays good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days (but you know me, I'll be freezing my extra portions).