No-Ghee Sweet Potato & Carrot Halwa

I’ve been trying to use sweet potatoes in ways other than my usual and this dish came together quite well. Not only was it quite nice as a regular halwa, but it also worked wonderfully as a stuffing for gujiyas and kachoris. We tried a few at home and they turned out quite well. In fact, we even did one in a mooncake mould and that turned out nice too.

This recipe was created for The Right Side of Life, a Safal community on Facebook. If you’re interested in eating healthier and involving food in different aspects of wellness, this is a group for you. We’re planning lots of activities and content for this group that I’m sure you’ll love!

This halwa works great as a stuffing too, if deep fried carbs are your thing.


  • Sweet potatoes, 2 medium, sliced in half length-ways, steamed
  • Carrots, 3 medium, peeled and grated
  • Sugar per your preferences
  • Cinnamon powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Elaichi / Cardamom, 2 whole, peeled and powdered


  1. Mash the sweet potatoes. Incorporate the shredded carrots and the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Using a non-stick pan pour the mixture, including any shed water, cook the mixture on low heat, until the carrots lose their raw taste – about 15 minutes. Add more water if you think it’s needed, but make sure the mixture is quite dry by the time you’re done.
  3. Adjust sweetness with powdered sugar or honey, as granulated sugar will not blend in easily at this stage.

The halwa is done at this point and can be served. If you find it a little dreary, a little ghee will go a long way in making it more appetising for some of us.

If you want to put it into kachoris or gujiyas, the dough we used was all purpose flour, 25% ghee (25gm in 100gm of flour), a large pinch of powdered sugar and just enough water to make it into a tight dough that was rested in the fridge for about 20 minutes prior to use.


  • Some sweet potatoes turn out quite fibrous. If so, blend the steamed sweet potato before mixing with the carrots.
  • We steam the sweet potatoes so it takes less time to dry out later. If you want you can boil them instead.
  • The halwa can be easily used to stuff parathas that’ll hold quite well.
  • When in the pan, you’ll find a silicone spatula quite useful instead of a wooden implement.
Default Recipes

Bedmi Kachori + Aloo Sabzi

Kachori Dough: Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Atta
  • 1/4 cup Sooji
  • 2 tbsp Oil for Moyan
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required to knead the dough 

Kachori Dough: Method

  • In a mixing bowl together the atta , sooji , salt and oil. Mix well.
  • By adding water little by little, knead a smooth dough. Cover and let it rest for half an hour.

Kachori Stuffing: Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Urad dal, soaked for 6 hours at least
  • 1 tbsp Ginger, finely chopped 
  • 1 tbsp Green chillies, finely chopped 
  • 1 tsp Red Chilly powder
  • 1 tsp Dhaniya / coriander seed powder
  • 1 tsp Saunf/aniseed powder
  • 1/2 tsp Amchur/dried mango powder
  • 1/4 tsp Heeng/Asafoetida
  • Pinch of Garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Kachori Stuffing: Method

  • In a mixer jar grind the soaked urad dal coarsely.
  • Put the coarsely ground dal in a bowl and add ginger and green chillies. Mix well.
  • In the meantime heat oil for deep frying, first on a high flame then when it’s hot enough, reduce.
  • Drop small balls of the dal batter in the hot oil, like small vadas . Fry them by turning regularly until they are half cooked.
  • Take them out of the oil and in a plate let them cool down.
  • Mash the half cooked vadas, adding red chilly powder, dhaniya powder, amchur powder, garam masala, saunf powder, heeng and salt.
  • Mix well with your fingers.
  • The stuffing is ready

Making the Kachoris: Method

  • Heat oil for deep frying. Use a high flame initially and then reduce it when the oil is hot enough.
  • Make medium sized balls from the dough.
  • Make small balls from the stuffing mixture.
  • Flatten each ball of the dough and place the ball of stuffing in its centre. Seal the dough well from all the sides so that the stuffing doesn’t leak.
  • Roll this stuffed ball very gently into a poori of medium thickness.
  • Slide the poori in the hot oil and fry on medium heat by turning it at regular intervals, until it becomes light brown and crispy.
  • Repeat until all the kachoris are ready.

Aloo ki Sabzi: Ingredients

  • 2 Potatoes, boiled and roughly mashed
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Jeera/Cumin seed
  • 2 Laung/Cloves
  • 1 piece Dagad phool
  • 1 small stick of Dalchini/Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp Ginger, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 tbsp Green chillies, finely chopped 
  • 1 tsp Red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp Dhaniya/coriander seed powder
  • 1/2 tsp Amchur/dried mango powder
  • 1/2 tsp Anardana/dried pomegranate seed powder
  • 1/2 tsp Moori masala
  • 1 tbsp Kasoori methi / dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/4 tsp Heeng/Asafoetida
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required

Aloo ki Sabzi: Method

  • Heat oil in a kadai
  • Add jeera, cloves, cinnamon stick, dagad phool and heeng. Let them splutter.
  • Add red chilly powder, dhaniya powder, amchur powder and salt. Mix well.
  • Add potatoes. Stir well.
  • Add ginger and green chillies. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add anardana powder and moori masala. Mix well.
  • Add water and mix well.
  • Simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  • Add kasoori methi and mix well.
  • Cook for 2 more minutes then serve.

Serve kachoris and sabzi along with some green chutney, tamarind chutney and whipped curd.


India’s Favourite Chai-time Snacks

I asked members of Chef at Large a couple of days ago, where they’re from and what their favourite tea time snacks were. The response was enthusiastic, given how much we love our masala chai and the nibbles we serve with it.

The original post is here.

I then fired up my favourite Python editor and started working on those responses, and here’s the result – the top 5 snacks Indians love with their chai.

  • Samosas
  • Biscuits
  • Vadas
  • Mathris
  • Kachoris

Given there were over 700 responses from diverse geographical areas, including Indians settled out of India, it’s a very nice surprise to see samosas at the top of the list. 

A brief description of the dish, as well as bunch of recipes from CaL Badge Network bloggers follows.


In its simplest form, a samosa is boiled, spiced and mashed potatoes stuffed into a rolled out pastry dough and deep fried. Many variations exist, such as the little ones in Chennai that are stuffed with spiced, mildly fried onions, or those stuffed with spicy buffalo meat that can be found in the Jama Masjid area and then we have mava samosas, ‘Chinese’ samosas that are stuffed with noodles and so on. The format is simple and it lends itself to a variety of flavours and textures. Samosas are also served in a more filling manner, crushed and topped with curried potatoes, choley and more.

Recipes from CBN members:


We love our biscuits too, liberally dunking the sweet varieties into a mug of tea and even slurping up the soggy mess left at the bottom of teacups. You’ll find biscuits left unflavoured with just a little added sugar, others with aniseed (saunf) and ajwain and yet others that are savoury and lend themselves to a number of toppings.

Recipes from CBN members:


Most of us in north India are likely to associate vadas with the fried, fluffy, doughnut shaped snack made of urad dal. Those from Mumbai or whereabouts already have their own iconic version, the vada used in vada-pav, that’s made by coating a ball of spiced potatoes in a thin layer of chickpea flour batter and deep frying. South Indians have their own numerous varieties and other parts of the country, their own versions with different names. 

Recipes from CBN members:


Largely a north Indian snack, Mathris (also called Mathi)are made with flour, water, spices, oil and usually deep fried. Found in most cultures in the upper half of the country, Mathris can be made using a variety of flavours and are usually served with pickles and chutney, making the number of combinations quite large. 

Recipes from CBN members:


A cousin to the ever popular samosa, kachoris too can be found in many shapes, sizes and fillings. While most are deep fried with a flaky crust and a spicy filling, the nature of the crust and the filling changes from culture to culture and state to state. Most are usually seen to be stuffed with a spicy lentil mixture though there are variations like Rajasthani onion kachoris or pyaaz ki kachori. Usually a snack item, kachoris are also sometimes served in a more substantial format and can serve as a mini meal too – crushed or torn apart and topped with curried potatoes, choley or even a thin kadhi (without pakodas) in Rajasthan. There also exist variations that are baked without any stuffing, such as those found in Kashmir.

Recipes from CBN members:

What other variations have you seen, of these very popular tea-time snacks?