Chef Cheetie Kumar sprinkles crushed pistachios over gajrela, a carrot and cardamom infused pudding, at Garland, her restaurant in downtown Raleigh, N.C., Oct. 24, 2018. Kumar cooks dishes that blend childhood taste memories with the ingredients that speak of the South. (Juli Leonard/The New York Times)
Gajar Halwa (Carrot and Cardamom Pudding) (Serves 4)

Here's a last minute Diwali treat that will take you an hour- enough time to surprise guests


3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ghee or clarified butter
8 to 10 large peeled and shredded carrots (about 4 cups/455 grams), prepared with a food processor into long strands or grated on the large holes on a box grater
3 cups/720 milliliters milk
1/2 teaspoon green cardamom seeds, removed from several pods or purchased already shucked, crushed lightly in mortar and pestle
1/4 cup/50 grams granulated sugar, plus more to taste
1/4 cup/30 grams chopped toasted pistachios, almonds or a mixture


In a wide, heavy-bottomed pan (don’t use nonstick) over medium heat, melt ghee, then add carrots. 
Stir until carrots are well coated with ghee. 
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until carrots are somewhat dry and caramelized, about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often so they don’t scorch.
Once the carrots are nice and dried out, stir in the milk and cardamom and simmer, stirring every few minutes, until the milk has reduced and is almost fully absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Sprinkle in the sugar, mix well to combine, and cook 5 to 8 more minutes until the mixture is almost dry and jammy. 
Serve warm or cold with toasted nuts sprinkled over the top.

The New York Times