This sweet is a visual delight, especially while it’s cooking. Bits of grated carrot float on a sea of milk, imparting to it a deep-orange color. Appropriate for both formal and informal meals, this dish is almost always eaten warm but may also be served cold. It tastes best when reheated after a night or two in the refrigerator. To clarify butter, microwave 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter until melted, skim off the foam from the top, then pour off the butter and discard any milky water on the bottom.
Combine the milk and grated carrots in a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated, about 1 hour.
Add the ghee, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook the carrot-milk mixture, stirring frequently. Keep doing this until the carrots turn reddish brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Add the sugar (or honey) and, if you like, the cashews and pistachios. Cook the mixture, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and transfer the pudding to a serving bowl, garnished with cardamom.
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