I learnt this recipe when I was 12 yrs old from my Aunt Amal, may Allah bless her always, while visiting them in Little Aden. I followed like a shadow in her in kitchen, and picked up a few recipes . It seemed strange to me that carrots could be turned into a dessert, and voiced that. She told me to wait and see. Indeed it was delicious.
When I went home I told my mother, may Allah bless her always, about it and she said, “There are a whole lot of carrots in the fridge. Go and try it out.” So I did. It was a success. My dad and brother loved it, so much so that every time my dad would come home from work he would bring me a big bag of carrots and call from work and ask me to make it for dessert every day. We didn’t have a food processor that grated at that time, so I used to do it manually with a grating board.
It’s also sold in “Halawa Stores” [Sweet Stores] in Aden, and it’s rather expensive. I always felt fortunate that I could make it on my own, given that carrots were pretty cheap and in abundance in Yemen, as were the rest of the ingredients Alhamdullilah. It tastes great warm as it does cold.
For about 7 small bars you will need:
1) 3 bunches of carrots [each bunch had about 10] –so about 30 medium carrots, peeled, and washed. If you are using the big carrots then 20 should do.
2) 1/3 of cup of sugar [more of less depending on the sweetness of the carrots. If they are sweet then less is needed, if not so sweet then more is needed. Taste to make sure it is as sweet as you want it to be]
3) 1 6 oz. can of Quishta [table cream] . You can substitute with whipping cream, or whole milk. Remember to take out 2-3 tbslp and keep aside.
4) 1/2 tsp of fresh ground cardamon
5) 4 pinches of ground nutmeg [more or less depending on your taste]
6) 1/2 stick of butter.
Under medium-high heat melt the butter in a skillets. Add all the grated carrot and brown. Make sure you stir often so that it does not burn. Then add the sugar, and cook until all is well incorporated. Add the cardamon and nutmeg and cook for a minute or so, and then add the cream [Quishta] and cook until mixture becomes a thick paste. Take a loaf pan and place the mixture and level it well. Then add the 2 tbsl of cream on top [see pic] and then place in preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until well browned on top. Let cool. Refrigerate. Cut and serve. Enjoy !