Vegetarian recipe ideas
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Heat the oven to 170C/fan 150C/gas 3. Butter and line a deep 23cm x 30cm tin with baking paper.
Pour the sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer along with the lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar to extract the lemony oils. Add the butter, vanilla extract and ¾ tsp of fine sea salt, and beat with a paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar dissolves and it’s light and creamy.
In a separate bowl, mix together the plain flour, cornflour and pistachio nibs, then tip the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. With the speed low, mix for 1-2 minutes or until you have even sandy breadcrumbs.
Tip the mixture into the tin and press down gently to an even layer. Bake for 45-50 minutes, turning in the oven halfway, until lightly golden on top. Remove from the oven and cool.
For the caramel filling, put the butter, kewra water, golden syrup and sugar in a pan and heat gently, whisking, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the condensed milk and quickly bring to a boil, whisking the entire time. Let it bubble for 45-60 seconds or until it has tinted slightly in colour, then remove from the heat and thoroughly whisk again. Pour over the top of the shortbread base and leave to cool.
Tip the grated carrots onto a clean tea towel, then cover with another tea towel, press down and leave for 15 minutes to remove as much water as possible.
Heat the ghee in a large non-stick wok, then cook the carrots over a high heat for 10 minutes, stirring and scraping continuously so they don’t catch. Add the sugar and ground cardamom, and cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat, again stirring so it doesn’t catch. Add the milk, cooking down again for another 5 minutes. Finally, add the milk powder, cooking and stirring for 5-7 minutes or until it starts to come together. Stir through the lemon juice to finish, mix well, then spoon out and spread on top of the shortbread-caramel base.
Sprinkle with more pistachio nibs and dried rose petals, if you like, then leave to set in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Carefully cut into bar shapes (each about 5cm x 6cm) and enjoy with a cup of chai.
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