No added sugar Carrot and almond barfi (made with stevia)

Subtly sweet and wonderfully aromatic, this Carrot and Almond Barfi brings two of my favourite Indian treats together into a neat little bite 🙂

Ingredients (16 servings):

  • 600 gm of carrot, grated
  • 400 ml evaporated milk (200 ml for the almond barfi layer and the rest for the carrot barfi layer)
  • 200 of gm ground almonds
  • A generous pinch (about 8-10 strands) of saffron
  • 4 finely ground cardamom
  • 2 tbsp of ghee or 4 tsp of flavourless oil and 2 tsp of ghee (clarified butter)
  • 3-5 tbsps of Stevia; I use 2 tbsp (or equivalent of 6 tbsp of sugar) in the almond layer and 2 tbsp (equivalent of 6 tbsp of sugar) in carrot layer ( you can use any other sweetener equivalent to the above amount of sugar); you could start with 1.5 tbsp for almond and carrots each and add as you go
  • 20 grams of almond flakes
  • 15 grams pistachio nuts, roughly crushed

Method:

  • Place a pan in low heat and when mildly warm, add half the evaporated milk in a pan and add in a pinch (4-5 strands) of saffron and half of the cardamom powder.
  • Stir to combine and once aromatic, add in the ground almond.
  • Stir immediately as the ground almond soaks the milk almost immediately.
  • Add in about 2 tbsp of stevia or (any other sweetener the equivalent of 6 tbsp or 90 grams of sugar) and stir thoroughly to distribute evenly.
  • Keep stirring until the ground almonds is thick and comes off the walls of the pan upon stirring.
  • Stir in 1 tsp of ghee and take off the heat immediately to preserve the delicate aroma of ghee.
  • Place the almond barfi dough into a lined flat dish and spread it out evenly.
  • Set aside and prepare the layer of carrot halwa.
  • Place the same unwashed pan over medium – low heat.
  • Once the pan is hot, add in the ghee reserving about 1-1.5 tsp for later.
  • Once the ghee melts, add in the grated carrots and cook with the lid on stirring every 5 minutes until the carrot is soft and falls apart when pressed with the back of a spoon.
  • Pour in the milk and the rest of the saffron and stir well to combine.
  • Placing the lid back on but slightly ajar, cook over low heat stirring every 5 minutes until most of the milk has evaporated.
  • Add in about 2 tbsp of stevia or (any other sweetener the equivalent of 6 tbsp or 90 grams of sugar) and stir thoroughly to combine.
  • Add in most of the almond slivers and the chopped pistachio saving a little of each for garnish.
  • Taste a little carefully and add more sweetener if required; this step is important because the natural sweetness of carrots will greatly influence the sweetness of your halwa and the sweetener you need will vary.
  • When the halwa thick and comes off the walls of the pan upon stirring, add in the ghee and rest of the ground cardamom and mix well to combine; you want the halwa thicker and drier than usual as we want it to set to make barfi squares.
  • Take it off the heat almost immediately to preserve the delicate flavours of ghee and cardamom powder and add in over the almond barfi and spread it in an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the pistachio and almond flakes evenly and press in gently.
  • Once completely cool, run a knife along the inner sides of the pan to dislodge the barfi from the sides of the pan.
  • Place a piece of baking sheet over the barfi and then, placing your palm gently over the baking sheet, flip the pan to remove the barfi from the pan.
  • Place gently on a chopping board almond side down as it is the sturdier and more supportive layer of the two and cut into 16 to 20 pieces.
  • Serve it Diwali thali style with samosas, kachoris, masala chai etc and enjoy! 

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