Pumpkin, beetroot and carrot pudding-Navaratri special

Navarthri  is a festival that heralds the start of the autumn/winter holiday season, bringing forth a host of delicious, childhood memories that run the gamut from platters brimming with homemade, scrumptious delicacies, to temples and courtyards adorned with flowers. From young women bedecked in gorgeous, ghagra-cholis as they dance to the tantalizing beat of the garba music, to the larger than life, resplendent idols of Goddess Durga, that is such a quintessential part of Navaratri celebrations in India.

In honor of this festival, I created this special “waist watcher’s” version of the traditional, very rich carrot halwa or pudding recipe, by blending the vibrant colors of the season: pumpkin and carrots with the jewel tones from beets.

Carrot-pumpkin-beetroot pudding. © Copyright, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE October, 2015

Carrot-pumpkin-beetroot pudding. © Copyright, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE October, 2015

The end product is a dessert that looks and tastes lavish, but has 1/2 the sugar, 1/2 the saturated fat and significantly fewer calories than the original version, which calls for whole milk and twice the amount of butter or ghee. Some really decadent versions call for a mix of whole milk and half and half or cream. By “reducing” fat-free milk, you add a creamy flavor and texture, without resorting to high calorie substitutes.

Clockwise, from top: grated pumpkin, grated carrots and grated beets. Copyright, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE, October 2015.

Clockwise, from top: grated pumpkin, grated carrots and grated beets. Copyright, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE, October 2015.

Makes 3 servings

Serving size: 1/3 cup

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and freshly grated (about 1 large carrot)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup beets, peeled and freshly grated (about 1 medium to large beetroot)
  • 1 cup pumpkin, rind removed and freshly grated
  • 2-2.5 tbsp butter, unsalted, divided
  • 1 and 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp raisins
  • 2-3 almonds, slivered
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder (preferably freshly ground)
  • 2-3 small strands of saffron (optional)

Method:

  • In a thick bottomed pot or sauce pan, heat 1.5 tbsp of butter on low -medium heat.
  • Add raisins and slivered almonds, stir for a few minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a small plate lined with a clean paper towel
  • In the same pot, add grated carrots and stir for a few minutes, until carrots begin to lose their moisture.
  • Now add the grated pumpkin and keep stirring, an additional 8-10 minutes. (At this time, you may see some butter oozing from the sides of the pan).
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a clean plate
  • Add the remaining 1/2 -1 tbsp of butter to the same pan, add the raw beets and repeat the same process as noted for the grated pumpkin until cooked through.
  • Return the cooked carrots and pumpkin to the pan, giving the mixture a good stir.
  • By this time the vegetables will have formed a homogeneous mass that is a dark pink color.
  • Bring the milk to a boil, stir in saffron, and simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally until reduced by approximately 1/4 to 1/3.
  • Add the reduced, hot milk in small batches to the grated vegetables in the pan, stirring constantly until completely absorbed, and mixture begins to look dry again.
  • Add the 1/4 cup of sugar, stirring constantly.
  • Keep stirring until the liquid in the pan evaporates and the mixture begins to look dry again.
  • Stir in the freshly ground nutmeg and cardamom powder.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with the reserved raisins and slivered almonds.
  • Serve warm (my personal preference), or chilled.
© Copyright, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE October, 2015

© Copyright, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE October, 2015

A Registered Dietitian’s tip: Carrots, pumpkin and beets pack quite a nutritional punch as they are chock-full of antioxidants that can combat the oxidative damage which leads to chronic disease, very low in calories like most vegetables, and high in the all-important fiber that I have discussed in so many posts!

label beetroot pudding

Disclaimer: This blog is strictly for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor or dietitian for recommendations tailored to your unique needs.

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About Sangeeta Pradhan RD, CDE

Hi there! Welcome to my blog! If you are confused with all the conflicting messages you get bombarded with every day on carbs, fats, proteins, gluten and anything you can think of related to nutrition, look no further! The purpose of my blog is to cut through all this clutter, utilizing scientific, evidence based guidelines to help you, the consumer, navigate the complex, dietary landscape, and thus empower you to make informed decisions.
This entry was posted in Desserts, Get cooking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Pumpkin, beetroot and carrot pudding-Navaratri special

  1. Harbans says:

    During Navratri fasts the dish you have made us aware of along with the nutritional value is of immense importance. :)) Regards

    Liked by 1 person

  2. smilecalm says:

    looks & reads
    almost too
    good to taste!
    i’ll celebrate this holiday
    sometime soon
    with this pudding treat 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, Harbans. Glad you find this helpful:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for your kind words. Hope you try it; Enjoy:)!

    Like

  5. Harbans says:

    Thanks ma’m. :))

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Clever substitutes! Looks rich! And I learned about another earth festival – Navratri.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you, it actually tastes surprisingly rich. Thank you for stopping by:)

    Like

  8. What a novel recipe – I’d never have thought to put these ingredients side by side. And it sounds wonderfully scrumptious!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you so much! Hope you get to try it:)

    Like

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