The carrot has long been known as an orange or yellow coloured vegetable. But according to historians, there is another dark coloured carrot that came long before the orange or yellow carrot. 

Photo: Chandan Chaurasia

The black carrot is not totally black, but rather dark purple. It is not just the colour that is different from red carrot halwa. This carrot has a very unique taste, in comparison to the orange carrot. It has a hint of sweetness and a bit of a spicy aftertaste. In India, carrots are used extensively in making puddings during the winter, such as carrot halwa which is loved across the nation. 

The availability of black carrot only during the winter makes it a highly sought after vegetable. Further on, you can combine this in winter delicacies such as carrot halwa, too. As carrot halwa makes ample use of ghee which is considered to keep us warm during the winters, it is a popular dish on the menu in Indian homes. Making halwa is the best way to combine the goodness of ghee with the antioxidant-rich properties of carrot. Did you know that locals have fond memories of one particular sort of halwa which is served during wedding season and mithai shops in Allahabad, Lucknow and neighbouring areas? 

In India, the wedding season is at its peak during the winters, which is when the carrots are also in season. As black carrots are rarer than red carrots, if a wedding happens to take place in the winters, then black carrot halwa is thought to be a must-have at a royal Indian wedding. Also known as kali gajar ka halwa, having such a rare treat on the menu is considered an auspicious way to celebrate, and a lot of families make special requests to caterers to put black carrot halwa on the menu.  

Further on, it is believed that black carrots have a high nutritive profile, and contain a lot more beta carotene than orange carrots. Furthermore, it is chock full of vitamin A. The locals love to load up on black carrots due to their health benefits.

 

Not just weddings, whenever black carrots are in season, which is usually between December and March, locals love to gorge on kali gajar ka halwa to enjoy the flavours of this black carrot at homes too.

Have you eaten kali gajar ka halwa before?