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Why a PINK chef's coat?

Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

Carrots Halwa

As many of you know by now, I Yank recipes for a number of reasons. Mostly to simplify, sometimes to alleviate the cost and once in a while to replace New England ingredients for the classic. This time, I have truly Yanked this recipe for a number of reasons.

Carrots Halwa is a sweet Indian side-dish that is enjoyed all through the Balkan, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern states. Although great tasting on its own, I just thought it lacked a little something.

Cardamom, khoya(an Indian dairy product similar to ricotta cheese) and some type of nut is generally and classically used in the preparation. But because of allergies, the sparseness of khoya and my dislike for cardamom, try this Yanked preparation. I find that the addition of coconut milk, dried fruit and water chestnuts to heighten this dish to a tropical theme rather than Indian. The textures and sweetness of this recipe is second to none when it comes to Indian vegetable preparation.

Ingredients

For 4 people

Recipe

  • 1/2 lb(s) carrots, peeled*
  • 1 cup(s) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup(s) coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup(s) sugar
  • 1/2 cup(s) diced, dried fruit of your choice
  • 1/4 cup(s) ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoon(s) butter, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) curry powder
  • 1/2 cup(s) cracker crumbs
  • sliced water chestnuts for garnish, optional

Carrots Halwa Directions

  1. Shred carrots on the finer of the two holes on your hand held shredder. This may take 2-3 minutes and you may need to take a break, but the end result is well worth the effort.
  2. In a medium saucepan, add 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat and melt. Add the carrots and "stir-fry" for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the evaporated milk, coconut milk, sugar, diced fruit, ricotta cheese and curry powder; mix well. Bring up to boil then immediately reduce heat to low and let simmer 12-14 minutes or until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Stir frequently and if you see it boiling, reduce heat as low as possible so that gently bubbles are visible.
  4. Meanwhile, mix cracker crumbs with 1 teaspoon melted butter: set aside. Take saucepan off burner and stir in remainder of butter until creamy and transfer to serving dish. Sprinkle with prepared cracker crumbs and sliced water chestnuts to serve.
  5. *You should have about 2 cups shredded
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