Wednesday, August 02, 2006

don't think i didn't

On friday I made a massive feast at the ranch. I think the premise was that I would make lunch in exchange for Tal working her magic with the haircutting scissors again. Suffice it to say I got completely carried away and made an Indian luncheon consisting of:

  • Sweet sour chickpeas (no not dodgy chinese style but with shitloads of tamarind)
  • Broccoli the Madhur Jaffrey way with chilli and garlic
  • Eggplant fried all tender in a tomato and ginger sauce
  • Raita
  • Radish and peanut salad
And yes... CARROT HALVA!

Those capitals and exclamation mark show you just how excited I was about making a dessert from carrots. So excited that I kept running around going - "don't think those carrots aren't going to be dessert." To which people looked confused and later, just tired. "We know esther, the carrots are dessert... get over it already" their glazed eyes said. Maybe they were thinking carrots as dessert is old hat, like carrot cake or something... but really, this is a whole new world of vegetal dessert excitement.

And i'm here to tell you that all the double negatives were worth it. Don't think that carrot halva is not the bomb. So so good. I was so sorry I had halved the recipe.. it cooks down a lot and we hardly had enough. Don't make my mistake.

There are heaps of other recipes for this - some with condensed milk, some where you pressure cook the carrots. I'd be open to hearing about any other versions people have tried. Apparently in the Punjab they make this with purple carrots. Now that would be hot!

Carrot Halva (or Halwa if you prefer)
1 kg carrots
1 litre milk
1 cup sugar
100g ghee or butter
2/3 cup raisins or sultanas
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 teaspoon cardamon seeds
ground cardamon

First up you need to grind your cardamon - pull out the green husks as you do. Now grate your carrots and stick them in a pot with the milk. Bring it to a simmer. Now cook it very very slowly until all the milk is absorbed. Careful it don't burn. This will take forever. Enough time for you to make 3 other dishes for your feast. Or get a haircut.

When it's absorbed add the ghee and cook until it browns a little. Mine didn't really brown, but anyway, add the sugar and cook until it's thick and dry. Add the raisins, cardamon and almonds. Serve with a few more nuts sprinkled over the top and a sprinkle of cardamon. Pass around the ice cream.

Hell yes.


Anonymous said...

i'll second that hellyeah on the carrot halva (although why do all the recipes lie and say it will go brown? seasons will come and go and your youth will fizzle away, and still it will not go brown).

but dude. chickpeas laden with tamarind? laden??? what the fuck? are we going to start calling golden syrup a 'sweet sugar cane jus reduction'? will fried foods henceforth be known as 'pan-seared'? good god, woman, i turn my back for five minutes and you get all muthafuckin john lethlean on my ass. please put down the crack pipe and pick up the 'edit post' button of sanity. it's not too late.

love ya spunk

esther said...

happy now? xx

shannon said...

hey queer,

i seem to recall you having a go at me when i said it was a double negative... ahem. but i'll let it go this time.

i can vouch for the delciousness of said carrot halva. oh yeh. even if it is obscured by the marmalade in my memory.

i am bored. do you have any house work i can break into your house and do during the day?

my god your work week seems so long to me.

shannon xx

Anonymous said...

hurray! i am making a difference on the intramanet! yes i am very happy now thank you. except i am a bit sick, since you ask. it seems that every time i set foot in a school i instantly fall ill with some kind of yukky virus. i said to the year tens today 'do you realise that we are all swimming around in an overheated germ soup?' and they spent the rest of the lesson pretending to huk up phlegm on me. bless.

i miss you and your bouffy li'l head. how did the haircut turn out? are you fashionably quiffhawked? paint me a word picture.


hoodup said...

no nell. there ain't no quiff-hawke action. In fact, all last night at John's going-away drinks Esther's hair looked remarkably dorky-hot. hot in that way that the lesbian faux-hawke is not. It's also shorter than those girly-men at alia could ever handle. (you think they've got a decent short haircut and then actually they've got this pony tail at the back or the side or something). The quiff is growing though and the top is longer than the sides and the mullet at the back is gone, replaced by a small sprig of curling rats tail. can you see what i see?

esther said...

shannon - ok ok i dunno why i corrected you .. clearly it's a double negative. i was so not gonna tell you it wasn't.

there is housework aplenty at my joint.. want me to tell you were the spare key is?
and yes.. the week is long. but not for much longer!!!!

nellski - gross. and yes, i miss you too...

i think tal painted a better picture of my hair than i ever would be able to. in fact i feel quite chuffed and am blushing beneath my floppy quiff from all those words devoted to how i look... eeks. xx

Sandy said...

it isn't a double negative, except in a narrow technical sense. you're supposed to avoid double negatives because they're redundant - you can express the same thing more simply with a positive construction (i.e., it's easier to say 'yes' than 'not no'). but your sentence has a clearly different sense than a positive version of it would - in fact, it's difficult to even render a positive version. i think the closest i can get is either 'these carrots are for dessert' or 'you'd better realise these carrots are for dessert', both of which connote differently from what you were conveying.

i wouldn't be such a grammar nerd if there was any fucking coffee in the house!

Anonymous said...

ooh i love dorky-hot, i think it may well be my favourite kind of hot (although i am also a big fan of erudite-semantician hot as glamorously modelled by mr sandy above). also am loving the rat's tail action from afar. well done and bravo to all concerned.


esther said...

sandy i love you and your nerdiness. do you think "connote differently" is real proper? sounds wack.

maybe i should change this from a food blog to a grammar blog... or just a blog about my hair?

Sandy said...

the only reason 'connote differently' may sound wrong is that you've internalised the stupid high-school grammar rule about avoiding adverbs. this rule is pointless and best ignored (along with: avoid adjectives, avoid the passive voice, etc.)

i've got to find me a good grammar blog.

esther said...

i'm not scared of adverbs. nope i love them.. i'm just confused by connote vs connotate. but it's picky grammar discussions like this that make me remember how much i love married-bickering with you and think that dan is right - you should move back to melbourne and live with me and sam.

can we start a group grammar blog? can we?

Sandy said...

i don't think connotate is a word. connote is the verb, connotation is the noun.

i struggle to imagine what would go on a grammar blog. wouldn't it end up like those shitty broadsheet columns about how people are debasing the language etc?

hell said...

ohmigod! you are amazing.... i love carrots and would annoy the pants off the people around me just like that...

gonna make this one day, yep...

hi esther, BTW that is such a pretty name...

Anonymous said...

grammar blog! grammar blog!

it doesn't have to be all talkback radio disgruntlement, does it? could it not just be those little grammar conversations you have in your head when you're driving or walking somewhere quite far and thinking about how americans are tending en masse to substitute the past conditional tense for the pluperfect in 'if...then' constructions and wondering how long it will be before we start doing it too? surely we all need an outlet for those kind of thoughts? i think it could work.


Sandy said...

check out Language Log.

i am almost sold on us starting our own grammar blog.

esther said...

yeah i am almost sold too. language log is so cool and nerdy "negation as obfuscation". though i don't think i know enough grammar. nell i think you should start it.. and others can join. it can be like online grammar club.

and ms. hell.. hello and hi. it is very nice to see you here. make the halva yes.. it is so easy and so pleasing.