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 was 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 common but with the addition of shredded potatoes.
History of Carrot Pudding
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 in 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).
Ingredients for Making it at Home
The recipe we are preparing is very different from the traditional English recipe for this pudding. The original recipe is more similar to preparing a cake. Ours is entirely different. Moreover, they use eggs and suet (hard animal fat). Our recipe is a pure vegan recipe.
Carrot in Carrot Pudding
Of course, how are you going to make a carrot pudding without carrots? It will make the base of our recipe. These are mixed with all-purpose flour and soda in the original recipe, just like in cake recipes. However, we are cooking it with milk, peanuts, and cashews.
Peanuts & Cashews
Both are absent in the original recipe. However, we are using them to attain more flavours and nuttiness in the recipe, and Both will also add to the thickness and rich texture of the puree.
Some recipes add milk to this recipe, and some don’t. However, for our recipe, this is essential. We cannot cook the carrots otherwise, similarly to how we do while making gajar ka halwa.
Usually, salt is not added in sweet recipes. But it brings a fantastic combination of sweet and savoury flavours. Totally up to you to add it.
Corn-Flour & Agar Agar
Both of these ingredients are to set and shape the pudding. The original recipe uses all-purpose flour, but as mentioned, we are not making a cake. So we are not using it but cornflour instead.
It is to make the recipe more flavorful and aromatic. If you do not like it, then you can substitute this with nutmeg powder or cinnamon powder. Or entirely skip it.
It is obvious; sugar is for sweetness. However, one can also use powdered sugar.
Food colour brings out the beautiful colour of this recipe, but it is optional here. You can garnish it with almonds as we did. Or you can use something else you prefer.
Preparation For Carrot Pudding
First of all, you need to grate the carrots. Now add them to a heated vessel along with peanuts, cashews, and milk. These are to be cooked until the milk comes to a bowl.
Once done, the ingredients are to be blended in a paste. Then pass the paste through a sieve into a bowl to remove any lumps or chunks.
After that, we are going to cook the paste again. Cook it with sugar, cornflour, salt, cardamom powder, agar-agar, and food colour.
Mix them and cook until the water is evaporated. Transfer the mixture once cooking is done into a container. Level it up with a spatula. Garnish it with almonds and chill it overnight in the refrigerator.
The pudding is all set to serve. You have to dig in.
Tips to Make Delicious Carrot Pudding
- Add raisins or chopped dates to the mixture at the later stage of cooking.
- 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.
- If you are adapting the traditional recipe for this, you get the option of baking it and steaming it.