Carrot pudding is a dessert cum accompaniment. For kids, it’s the main course. Having said this, we have a sweet dish that is quite flexible & fits every menu. However, that wasn’t true in the 18th century. Yes, you read it right.
According to Wikipedia, carrot pudding has been served in Ireland since at least the 18th century. It was also served in the United States as long ago as 1876. Because sweeteners were rationed during the second world war, carrot pudding was seen as an alternative in the UK.
This pudding they make during Christmas is also known as Lincolnshire carrot pudding. In Canada, too, it is familiar but with the addition of shredded potatoes.
Carrot pudding has been in existence for ages. It is originally a British recipe. The first published recipe is in A Book of Cookrye: Very Necessary for All, Such as Delight Therin. Edward Allde, 1591.
However, the first mention of this recipe was way before that. From Ibn Sayyār al-Warrāq’s cookbook – “The Book of Cookery preparing Salubrious Foods and Delectable Dishes extracted from Medical Books and told by Proficient Cooks and the Wise.”
Even if this recipe is more about meat stuffed with a carrot, there are many common elements with modern dessert. This recipe contains ingredients like shortening, raisins, cream, eggs, sweetener (dates and sugar), spices (clove and mace), scraped carrot, and breadcrumbs (in place of flour).
Indian version of carrot pudding
It is a fact that carrot pudding didn’t originate in India. However, we have discovered our method of making this pudding with traditional ingredients. Let me tell you what they are.
This particular carrot pudding recipe is different compared to the English recipe. The original recipe is more similar to preparing a cake. But, on the other hand, ours is pure vegetarian. The English recipe contains eggs and suet (hard animal fat).
Unlike the carrot cake recipe, we will cook our pudding using milk, peanuts, and cashews. Doing this will give us rich flavours and add nuttiness to the recipe.
A pudding is thick and holds the desired shape. But only when you use items like corn flour and agar-agar. They will help you keep the pudding in place. If not, then it will easily shatter. Hence, these are essential differences between the Indian version of carrot pudding and others.
Carrot pudding vs gajar ka halwa
Although carrot is a primary ingredient in both dishes, they are entirely different. For instance, we make gajar halwa using mawa, aka khoya, whereas the pudding is in the milk. Moreover, there’s no corn flour and agar-agar in the halwa, whereas pudding can’t hold the shape without them.
Cashews, sugar cardamom powder, and almonds are everyday items in both pudding and halwa. However, there are a few more dry fruits that we can add to both recipes. Since we are making sweet dishes, all these ingredients are permitted.
Food colour is another subjective ingredient because I seldomly add artificial food colours to my recipes. However, pudding and halwa sold at sweet shops use food colours to attract customers. Hence, you can either avoid using food colours or add them per your preference.
Halwa comes out as a clear winner if we discuss the shelf life. It doesn’t contain corn flour, food colour, agar-agar, peanuts and salt. All these items in one place can sometimes decrease the longevity of your final dish.
- Add raisins or chopped dates to the mixture at the later cooking stage.
- Sweet dark jam cream cheese is also an option here if you prefer.
- Substitute white sugar with brown sugar.
- Consider adding brown sugar sauce as per taste.
- Nutmeg or cinnamon powder can be a substitute for cardamom powder.
Carrot Pudding FAQs
How’s the taste?
The taste is sweet, milky and nutty because of peanuts, milk, almonds, cashews and sugar. You can also add red and black raisins, but then you will not be able to store them for a longer time.
Is it compulsory to add food colour?
Food colour is not at all a compulsion here. You can skip it. Colour gives a bright hue to the recipe because intense heat will reduce the natural colours of the ingredients.
What will happen if we skip cornflour and agar-agar?
If you skip corn flour and agar-agar, your pudding will not be set. Instead, it will no longer hold the desired shape. Moreover, it will be loose, like a semi-liquid, instead of a thick texture.
Can I replace corn flour with gram flour?
No, you can’t replace cornflour with gram flour. First of all, gram flour is not an ideal ingredient for pudding and won’t serve the purpose of corn flour.
What is the shelf life of the pudding?
If you store it in the refrigerator, the shelf life of your pudding will dramatically increase. It can sustain up to a week. But don’t keep it for more than a week because the taste will gradually spoil.
Can I add condensed milk instead of sugar?
Yes, you can add condensed milk instead of sugar. But add when you transfer the mixture to a container after heating. Allow the mixture to cool down, or it will lose thickness due to condensed milk.
Do we need to add powdered sugar or whole sugar?
Both powdered sugar and whole sugar are good. You can add either because eventually, sugar will dissolve when heated. Hence, there’s no chance that you will experience sugar granules while eating.