Asma Khan, a celebrity chef from Northern India, began her professional cooking career after moving to the UK, with a Kensington-based supper club in 2012 that moved to Soho and was quickly met with critical acclaim.
Khan later opened the Darjeeling Express in Kingly Court off Carnaby Street in 2017 and published her first cookbook Asma’s Indian Kitchen in 2018. She later became the first British chef to star in Netflix's acclaimed Chef's Table, and last year moved Darjeeling Express to Covent Garden, where it sits on the corner of Garrick street.
“After feeling hungry especially towards the end of the fast, the sticky sweet gajjar ka halwa with cream is warming and healing,” Khan says. “This is a dish where you need to have patience and a great playlist playing in the background – this is not a quick dessert!” she says.
Gajjar ka Halwa (carrot halwa)
Cooking time: 2 hours
900ml whole milk
1 bay leaf
3 small green cardamoms
50g ghee or unsalted butter
200g white sugar
Slivered pistachios or almonds (optional)
Peel and grate the carrots.
Bring the milk to a boil – add the grated carrots to the milk and let the milk return to the boil. Add the cardamom and bay leaf. Lower the temperature to prevent the milk from burning and keep stirring at regularly.
This is a dish where you need to have patience. Keep stirring regularly to prevent the milk from getting caught at the bottom of the pan.
When all the milk has been absorbed and evaporated, add the ghee or unsalted butter and sugar. Keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the carrot paste is moist but dry.
This Halwa is best served warm, garnished with nuts and double cream on the side.