I never thought I would say this but my phone is having a mid-life crisis at the age of two!
All was well till I finished watching the latest episode of Masterchef Australia Season 10 early on Thursday (say 1am-ish). All continued to be well on Thursday morning as I shuffled into the kitchen, placed the phone on a stool and made the much needed morning cuppa.
Suddenly, there was a buzz, a thunk and a crash.
I turned and stared. My phone lay on the floor. The left corner shattered artistically with cracks creeping across the screen that was blinking like a disco light on the rogue.
Between this and the nagging right-wrist pain, the only bright spot in my life at this moment is Masterchef Australia Season 10 and the way it prompts me to think about food. In India, we’ll have seen episode 51 by the time this post is published. And even though I know Sashi Cheliah bagged top honours, I love watching the series for the edible art on the plates.
The show gives me hope; it inspires me to continue on this path of learning more about food – not because I want to be a contestant but more because these courageous contestants have listened to their heart and followed a dream. And that, my friends, takes guts.
Philosophy apart, the recipes developed by the television show’s contestants are all kinds of amazing. The way their minds work with food is exhilarating to watch. And inspiring, as is the case with a Carrot Halva Samosa made during a team challenge that inspired today’s recipe.
A gaajar ka halva (carrot halva) is a winter staple in most Indian homes as the markets are flooded with sweet and vibrant carrots. But the gaajar ka halva requires time, effort and is made with condensed milk or sugar.
To eliminate artificial sweetener and create a dish that can be a crowd pleaser at a Christmas or New Year party, I decided to work with the idea of carrots, dates and bites.
The result was this sweet carrot-date roll that can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Remove it an hour before you want to cook; deep fry and serve piping hot. Since my sweet tooth always demands chocolate, I decided to make a dark chocolate sauce to go with the roll. It is completely optional, though. You could serve the roll on its own or with whipped cream. Or stick it into vanilla ice cream!
If you do make any of these lovely foods, don’t forget to share in the comment section below or on my Facebook / Instagram / Twitter pages. If you would love to see the winter and party special recipes I’ll be sharing all of December and January, do subscribe for regular updates.
The goodness of fresh sweet carrots and dates combine to make these rolls that are a brilliant sugar-free option for a dessert or snack.
- 1½ cup Refined flour / All-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon Rice flour
- 2 tablespoons Ghee
- 1½ cup Grated carrots
- 2/3 cup Seedless Mejdool dates
- 1/4+1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon powder optional
- 6 tablespoons Water
- Oil to deep fry
- 5 tablespoons Dark chocolate (chopped)
- 5 tablespoons Milk
Sieve refined flour. Add the rice flour, 1/4th teaspoon cinnamon powder (optional) and 1 tablespoon ghee.
Mix the flour and ghee for 6-7 minutes until the flour has a crumbly texture and holds shape when you make a lump.
Add water by the tablespoon and kneed a tight dough. Cover and rest for 15 minutes.
In a non-stick pan / kadhai, heat 1 tablespoon ghee.
Add the freshly grated carrots and roast for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.
Mix the roughly chopped dates and stir.
Cook the carrot and date until it forms a brown mash. Make sure you keep stirring frequently or the mixture will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
Once the carrot-date mixture is cooked, add 1/8th teaspoon cinnamon powder, mix well and set aside to cool.
To make the rolls, divide the rested dough into lemon-sized balls (or measure out with a tablespoon).
Place a ball of dough on a plain, clean surface and roll into a small roti. Place half a tablespoon carrot-date mix in the centre of the roti, spread it a little.
Pick up two sides of the roti to bring them to the middle and overlap.
Fold in the two edges to make a small pillow. Pat the edges into place to ensure the roll is sealed. Make all rolls in a similar fashion.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan till you can see light fumes.
On a low flame, cook the rolls 2-3 at a time until they are golden in colour and crisp.
Serve hot on its own, with chai, coffee, whipped cream or a dark chocolate sauce.
Place the chopped dark chocolate and 3 tablespoons milk in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 10 seconds; remove and mix well for a smooth sauce. Adjust consistency with milk. Pour over the hot rolls or serve in a small bowl as a dip.
- Vegan: Replace the ghee with oil of choice and follow the same method.
- Gluten free: Use rice paper sheets to make the rolls instead of refined flour.
Photos: Rapti Bhaumick