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Friday, 1 January 2016

Gajar Ka Halwa

Gajar ka halwa, a popular Indian carrot-based dessert needs no introduction. This winter delight is liked by one and all and we Indians really do not need any special occasion to make this pudding. I have followed the traditional one-pot method of simmering season's best fresh red grated carrots in full-fat milk, which is further sweetened and roasted in ghee with nuts. Flavored with cardamom powder, this creamy and rich sweet carrot pudding is worth all the time and effort. Carrot halwa can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator and served hot or cold.

What is Gajar Ka Halwa?

Gajar ka halwa is an Indian dessert popular across the country. It is believed to have originated in the Indian state of Punjab and is a delight during the winter months. Known by various names such as gajrela, gajar pak, carrot halwa, gajar halwa, is a simple yet delectable sweet pudding made from grated carrots, milk, ghee, sugar and nuts of your choice. Traditionally it is prepared by slow-cook method where grated carrots are simmered with milk in a pan until the carrots absorb all the milk and become creamy. This mix is further sweetened with sugar and cooked again until dry. The addition of ghee and nuts makes the pudding all the more delicious. Gajar ka halwa is mildly flavored with cardamom powder and can be served hot or chilled. Usually, full-fat milk is used to make gajar ka halwa. To save the time of cooking, khoya or condensed milk may be used to make gajar ka halwa. Many people cook it in a pressure cooker as well. Gajar ka halwa is rich in calories and it is simply irresistible.

What goes into my Gajar Halwa?

I have used season's best fresh red carrots to make this gajar ka halwa. This winter special carrots are deliciously sweet and lend a beautiful color to the halwa. Grated carrots are simmered in full-fat milk. I have not used any cream or khoya here. However, you may use either to reduce the cooking time. Sugar is the choice of sweetener here. I have added chopped cashews and almonds. Any nut of your choice may be used. Nuts make the dessert rich and add a bite to the otherwise soft halwa. Initially, I used to roast the grated carrots in ghee first and then cook it in milk. Now, I simmer carrots in milk first, thereafter add sugar and lastly add ghee and chopped nuts and roast the halwa while stirring continuously until it is thick. I have learned this technique from my dear friend Reema Asthana. The resultant halwa is a melt-in-mouth sweet treat with a lovely taste and aroma that it gets from the ghee roasting.

Related Event: 

This is an old post which i had published in 2015 during my initial blogging days. I have updated this post today with new pictures, written content and the slight change in the cooking technique of this recipe. I have many such old posts where the photography is dull and the recipe is not up to the mark. Such posts need to be updated with new pictures and written content. Thanks to Renu, my dear friend and a fellow blogger who came up with a Facebook group, Foodies_Redoing Old Posts as an initiative, wherein we bloggers can update our old posts with either new pictures or written content or both every two weeks. This is my 15th entry into this event (7th February 2020) The pic below is my old pic of gajar halwa.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 cup = 250 ml
  • 1/2 kg Carrot (approx. 4-5 large carrots)
  • 3 cups full-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped Almonds and Cashew nuts
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
  1. Wash, peel and grate the carrots.

   2.  In a nonstick wok or pan, add milk and allow it to boil. Add grated carrots to the boiling milk and cook the mixture on medium flame until the carrots absorb all the milk and become creamy and the mixture becomes dry. This step will take around 30 minutes. Make sure you stir the mixture occasionally so that it does not catch the bottom of the pan.

3. Add sugar at this stage and mix well. Stir the mixture. You will see the pudding becomes moist again as the sugar melts.  Keep stirring and cook further until the mixture becomes dry. 

  5.  Once the sugar completely melts and the halwa becomes dry, add the chopped nuts and ghee. Roast the nuts and the carrot mixture in ghee on low flame while stirring continuously. Be careful at this stage as the halwa tends to stick to the bottom. After roasting the halwa for around 3-4 minutes put off the flame. Flavor the halwa with cardamom powder and give a good mix.

  6. Garnish the Carrot halwa with more cashews if you wish and serve hot or cold as per liking and enjoy !!

Recipe Notes:
  • Use Season's best fresh red-colored carrots to make gajar ka halwa.
  • Do not skip the ghee roasting as it adds a lovely nutty flavor and aroma to the halwa.
  • You may use any nuts of your choice. I personally prefer almonds and cashews.
  • Use full-fat milk for the best results. However, you may use condensed milk or khoya to save cooking time and effort.
  • Carrot halwa can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to a week. It can be served hot or cold. 
  • The amount of sugar added here yields a moderately sweet halwa. You may increase or decrease its quantity as per your taste. 
  • If you are looking for an authentic taste, cook the grated carrots in milk on low to medium flame.
I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.
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  1. Gajjar ka halwa is like a pudding of carrot but it is made with pure butter and lots of milk. It is one the popular desserts in Pakistan and India.

  2. I did enjoy reading articles posted on this site. They are impressive and has a lot of useful information Custom Essay Writing Service

  3. Gajjar halwa is a such an easy and versatile sweet dish. Haven't made it in a very long time. Love your idea of adding fresh cream instead of mawa.

    1. Thank you di..do give it a try ..i am sure you will love this version

  4. Gajar halwa is a favorite winter treat this side. Feel like grabbing that bowl of gajrela!! So yum

  5. Carrot Halwa looks super tempting Poonam. Loving the rich dark colour. I miss this carrots, but do make it with the salad ones. Loving your recipe

  6. Carrot halwa looks delicious. I too love this traditional method of preparation, it is worth the effort.

  7. Red carrots just make the gajar halwa look so different. Love the halwa and its been ages since I've made it at home. Tempting me to make it.