City Food – White Carrot Halwa, Shereen Bhawan
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Many citizens regard carrot halwa as the No. 1 winter dessert.
No debate on that.
But not everybody knows that carrot halwa is not only available in red—thanks to red carrots—but also white, because it’s made with white carrots. This rare variant is hard to find, but is seasonably available at the legendary Shereen Bhawan mithai shop in Old Delhi’s Matia Mahal Bazaar.
“It’s cooked just like red carrot halwa,” assures the gentleman behind the counter. Though late in the evening (and so freezing cold!), the shop is milling with halwa revelers. Over there, five men are seated around a table revelling in the white delicacy.
“White carrot halwa tastes exactly like the red, “except it’s less sweet, and looks so much better…like Shimla’s barafbaari (snowfall),” explains a customer. She adds that the shop is generous with the sprinkling of cashews, along with desi ghee.
The halwa is spread on a super-gigantic platter. The burner beneath keeps it bubbling hot.
A shop staffer now weighs the sweet dessert on a grand-looking taraju (weighing scale) and gives the portion to the lady in a little bowl. The bazaar itself has plenty of mithai shops, but they only offer the conventional red carrot variety. Which makes the white dish at Shereen Bhawan even more exclusive. Be forewarned that it’s very seasonable, won’t be available by next month.
White carrot halwa matters