Happy New Year! I hope that 2021 brings in lots of love, happiness and joy in your lives. Have a wonderful New Year surrounded by those who mean the world to you. And so to welcome 2021, I am sharing with you the recipe of a very popular Indian dessert, Gajar Halwa (Carrot Halwa).
What can be more heart-warming than a bowl of hot carrot halwa on a cold winter night, right? Gajar Ka Halwa is a traditional Indian dessert recipe made of fresh grated red carrots that are available only during winters. This dessert recipe can enlighten your taste buds with the perfect blend of carrot, milk, sugar and mixed dry fruits.
Whenever you want to satisfy your sweet tooth or to serve it to guest or to surprise your kids, serve this classic, rich, creamy sweet dessert. It is typically served warm with the topping of mava/khoya and some chopped nuts.
What is Gajar Ka Halwa?
Gajar Ka Halwa is also known as carrot halwa, gajrela, gajar pak, caramelized carrot pudding etc. It is made in north India only during winters. The reason is that it is made using the fresh red carrots that we get in winters as they are tender and juicy. However it can also be made using orange or purple carrot.
This traditional simple and delicious carrot halwa recipe is made with only whole or full-fat milk, ghee and sugar. The cardamom powder and ghee gives it a unique aroma and rich texture. You don’t need khoya (evaporated milk solids) or condensed milk. So don’t worry if you don’t have them in your refrigerator. However you may add it if you want to reduce the cooking time.
The best thing about this sweet is that it can be made and refrigerated in an airtight container, and it keeps for almost 10-12 days. In my family, it’s made in large quantities and enjoyed everyday after meals. You can also make this during festivals or a dessert for your winter parties and I assure you that it will not fail to impress anyone.
How to Make Gajar Ka Halwa?
For the recipe, the grated carrots are sauteed in ghee then cooked in milk and then mixed with sugar, nuts and cardamom powder. I have made this recipe on stovetop and in open pan. It will require a bit of time and patience as you’ll need to stir the carrots in ghee to fry them a bit, then cooked in milk which adds great flavors.
Usually whole milk is used to cook the carrots but if you want to save some time then use evaporated milk instead which is easily available in grocery stores. You can also add some khoya if its available.
You can adjust the sweetness as per your preference and personal taste. If the carrot is sweet and juicy then less sugar is required. In the sugar free variant, sugar is excluded from the recipe. You can also make this recipe in an Instant Pot and while it is much faster and also instead of hand grating you may use food processor to crush the carrot.
The Perfect recipe for Gajar Halwa is right here, Just follow the simple ratio for ingredients and never go wrong with Gajar Halwa.
Do try other similar recipes:
- Dry Fruit Chikki
- Mawa Gujiya
- Khajur Barfi
- Coconut Burfi
- Besan Ladoo
- Kaju Namak Pare
- Sabudana Kheer
- Kaju Pista Roll
- Sahi Tukra
- Fruit Cake
- Almond Coconut Cookies
- Chocolate Lava Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
- Cherry Ice Cream
- Cake Pops
- Thumbprint Cookies
Preparation Time: 10mins ∏ Cooking Time: 45-50mins ∏ Servings: 5-6 persons
Level: Intermediate(Medium) ∏ Measurement: 1 Cup ≡ 250 ml ≡ 250gm
How to Make Gajar Halwa (Carrot Halwa):
Step1: First rinse, peel and then grate the carrots to medium thickness. You can either grate them with hand held grater or in food processor. Try to use fresh and sweet carrot for this recipe. Discard the ends.
Step2: Heat a kadai or deep thick bottomed pan on low-medium flame. Add ghee and grated carrot. Stir until carrots are well coated with ghee and saute them for 2 minutes.
Step3: Now pour around 4 cups of whole milk. You may also add 2 cups of evaporated milk instead of whole milk.
Step4: Stir and let it cook on low-medium flame until all the milk starts to reduce and evaporate and carrot turns soft.
Step5: Cover the pan and let is cook on low-medium heat until all the milk has reduced and is almost fully absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. While the mixture is simmering, keep on stirring in between.
Step6: Once the mixture turns dry and carrot turns soft and mushy, add sugar. Adjust sugar as per your preference and taste. You may reduce the quantity if the carrot is sweet. Mix well.
Step7: Now add cardamom powder, saffron and a pinch of salt. Keep stirring every few minutes, until the mixture is dry.
Step8: In a separate pan add 1 tablespoon ghee along with all the chopped nuts and saute till light golden brown.
Step9: Add roasted dry nuts to the pan and mix well. Reserve some for garnish.
Step10: Cook 5 to 8 more minutes until the mixture is almost dry and jammy. You may also add khoya at this time. Check and adjust sweetness. Once the carrots are nice and dried out turn off the flame. Add more chopped nuts if required.
Step11: Serve warm with toasted nuts sprinkled over the top. Enjoy!
Watch this video for making Gajar Halwa (Carrot Halwa)
- This dish freezes very well for days. Sprinkle with additional almonds and top with edible silver, if using.
- To make it vegan use coconut oil instead of ghee and full fat coconut milk instead of regular milk.
- Use red and sweet carrot for this recipe.
- Grate the carrots to medium thickness. If you grate them too thin, the halwa will become mushy and if too thick, the pieces will stand out. I used my simple hand grater but you can also use food processor to grate the carrots.
- Add nuts and dry fruits of your choice. Adjust the sweetness depending upon the type of carrot and your taste.
- You can freeze the halwa for 5-6 weeks. Just transfer it in a freezer safe box and freeze. Thaw before using and warm in microwave.