When it comes to Indian desserts, most of us are familiar with aromatic rice puddings and sticky sweet gulab jamun. But Calcutta Cricket Club isn’t your standard Indian restaurant and its tasty desserts offer something slightly different.
Halwa (cousin to the flakier nut butter-based middle eastern halva) is a dense pudding-like concoction typically made of semolina flour cooked down in condensed milk and sugar. For the CCC version, chef Rene Bhuller decided to go with a carrot halwa, a fairly classic Indian flavour. He adds cinnamon and cloves to give the halwa a flavour and consistency reminiscent of an Indian-ized pumpkin pie filling.
“I played with a bunch of different consistencies – at first I wanted it to be harder, but it was too dense,” Bhuller says. “So I lightened it up a little bit and serve it in the shape of an ice cream scoop.”
Bhuller scoops his carrot-flavoured halwa onto a pool of cardamom-spiked Chantilly cream. The cream is ringed with piles of chopped cashews and rose petals and sprinkled with house made rosewater sugar. All together, the dish has a sweet and slightly spicy flavour that fits with CCC’s mandate of creating Bengali-style Indian fare.
“Garam masala is different all over India, but in Calcutta it’s predominately made with cardamom cloves and cinnamon,” Bhuller says. “So I tried to showcase all three of those spices in this one dish.”
The spices also give the halwa a seasonal flavour, making it an appropriate treat as we head into the holidays. And after you fill yourself up with a meal of CCC’s curries and naan bread, a single order of carrot halwa is perfectly portioned to share among two people.
Calcutta Cricket Club, 340 17 Ave SW, 403-719-1555, calcuttacricketclub.com