I can’t believe I’m even typing this post…I feel as if I owe my mother a big apology for even attempting it. Actually, if there was an easy way to hide this post from her, maybe I would. All because of the simple carrot…and a toddler who has taken a strong stance against the vegetable. Let’s take a few steps back…
I grew up with the luxury of a stay at home mom when we were in elementary school. That meant there was always a freshly-prepared assortment of snacks waiting for us after school. Except for the dreaded gajrela. My dad loved the stuff, so every few weeks or so, we would get home from school and I could smell it being cooked on the stove…and despairingly would climb up the stairs knowing that my snack would include a large serving of gajrela. Seriously, first world problems – but at the time, it felt like torture.
Now fast forward a few decades – my 2 year old, who normally will not eat carrots at home, sees a friend eating them, and proceeds to mooch off her as if she’s never been offered a carrot in her life. I was so excited that my daughter was actually choosing to eat a raw vegetable as a snack! This led to a Costco purchase of a ridiculously large bag of baby carrots…out of which she ate 2 before she decided that she didn’t like carrots again. There’s only so many carrots one person can eat (and I ran out of hummus), so I needed to find a recipe to use up all these carrots. Enter gajrela.
I really didn’t feel like dragging my two year old to the grocery store for ingredients, so I decided to improvise with what I had in my pantry. The recipe inadvertently ended up being vegan.
- 8 cups shredded carrots (I did this in my food processor)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup shredded coconut (if you use sweetened, reduce any additional sugar)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 3 tbsp ground flax
- sliced almonds, raisins and sugar mixed in at the end to taste
- Shred carrots – I used my food processor because it is so much faster!
- Heat up coconut oil in a heavy pan – add carrots and stir until coated
- Add shredded coconut and stir in. Cook until carrots have softened. If mixture is sticking to the bottom of the pan, add water and continue cooking
- Once carrots have cooked, add maple syrup, milk and flax. Cook down until mixture thickens. If it seems too dry, you can add in more milk.
- Add almonds and raisins, and additional sugar if you’d like your gajrela to be sweeter.