Indian Carrot Recipes – Gajar or carrot is a versatile root vegetable which is crunchy, mildly sweet in taste and has many health benefits.
Though it is available throughout the year, relatively better varieties of carrots are only available in the winters. As such many carrot recipes are winter favorites in India when gorgeous colorful carrots flood the stores.
Gajar or carrots can be eaten raw in salads, in the form of juice, as cooked vegetables, in dal, in rice, soups, sweets, deserts, baby foods etc. Due to its sweet taste, gajar can be even used like fruits in cakes, puddings, jams etc.
A very popular and lip smacking Indian sweet dish called ‘gajar halwa’ is made with soft freshly grated red juicy carrots cooked slowly in whole milk along with dry fruits and sugar. It is considered as the ultimate winter delicacy in Northern India.
Carrot cultivation and varieties
Carrot is a biennial plant and many different types exist. The Latin name of the plant is Daucus Carota. Carrots are grown in the ground, and carrots root or taproot is the most commonly eaten part of the plant. Over the years, carrots have been selectively bred for a more palatable and nicely textured taproot.
Gajar or carrots come in many different colors, yellow, bright red and dark orange being the common ones, though there are also white and purple color carrots. While the red carrots are more common in the Northern India, the orange or yellow ones are grown more in South India. Baby carrots are another variety that has become popular in last few decades.
Healthy and rich in nutrients
The carrots contain good amount of beta-carotene which gives it the characteristic bright orange color. Yellow carrot color is due to lutein which is considered to have an important role in prevention of macular degeneration.
Gajar also contains alpha-carotene and vitamins like B6 and Vitamin K. Both α-carotenes and β-carotenes are partly metabolized into vitamin A in the body and has a role in promoting eye health.
Carrot dishes are also a good source of antioxidants and Vitamin C. It has been reported in several independent studies that carotenoids, polyphenols and vitamins present in gajar (carrot) act as antioxidants, enhance immunity, are anti-diabetic, cholesterol and cardiovascular disease lowering, anti-hypertensive and protect against many forms of cancer.
List of Easy & Nutritious Indian Carrot Recipes | Gajar Recipes
Here are the some easy to cook gajar or carrot recipes to add seasonal taste, color and nutrition to your food! This list includes gajar recipes where carrot is the star ingredient as well as mix vegetable recipes where carrot can be added along with other vegetables.