Gajar Ka Halwa or Carrot Halwa

Carrot Halwa Recipe (4 Variations)


Making the popular Indian dessert known as Gajar Ka Halwa (Gajar Ka Halwa in Hindi or Carrot Hawa in Tamil ) is super simple when you use my detailed step-by-step guide and videos! Whether you make it using the traditional stovetop method, or take some shortcuts using milkmaid, khoya or the Instant Pot. I have shared 4 variants or methods of making this scrumptious dessert with detailed step by step  in this useful recipe post.





    What Halwa?

    The word Halwa comes from the Arabic word for "sweet" and refers to sweets that are cooked with ghee and sugar. Whether made from noodles (vermicelli), lentils (moong dal), grains (such as semolina), or vegetables (such as carrots or beets), Indian halwa is one pudding that is absolutely delicious. Contrary to popular belief, Indian halwa It is distinct from the Middle Eastern halva, which is a candy made primarily from sesame seeds.

    Halwa is a delicious dessert made for festive occasions. It is not difficult to make, but it does take some time. If you want to make carrot pudding more regularly, consider using one of my genius shortcuts listed below!


    What is Gajar Ka Halwa?

    Gajar ka halwa is a popular dessert made in North India and is especially popular during winters. The traditional gajar ka halwa recipe is made with only carrots, whole (full fat) milk, ghee and sugar; There is no need for khoya (evaporated milk solids) or condensed milk.

    If you prefer to use khoya or milkmaid (sweetened condensed milk), skip to the appropriate section below to learn how!


    I prefer to use red Delhi carrots to make halwa, as they are tender and juicy. That said, you can use any carrots—red, orange, or even black—as long as they're not stringy, stringy, or hard. One of the reasons I love making gajar ka halwa is that it has a long shelf life. I can make a batch that can last over 10 days in the fridge, meaning we always have something sweet to snack on after a meal.

    How to make Carrot Halwa or Gajar Ka Halwa



    Prepare and grate the carrots


    1. Firstly wash 650 grams of carrots (8 to 9 medium sized soft, juicy carrots or 6 to 7 long carrots) with water a few times.
    Let the water drain. Peel the carrots with a vegetable peeler. Keep the peeled carrots aside.

    Make sure the carrots are juicy and tender. You can use any type of carrot (red or orange), but they must be soft.


    2. Next, grate the carrots on a box grater or in a food processor. You can measure grated carrots with a standard measuring cup and you'll need about 4 to 4.5 cups of grated carrots. Grating carrots in a food processor is much easier than using a box grater or a hand-held grater.


    Cook Carrots




    3. In a heavy bottomed kadhai, add all the grated carrots.


    4. Add 4 cups full fat milk. Turn on the burner.


    5. Mix grated carrot and milk together.


    6. Cook this mixture on low-medium flame. After a few minutes the milk will start to froth and then slowly start to subside.


    7. Keep stirring the halwa mixture frequently, scraping the sides of the pan to remove the evaporated milk solids. Add milk solids to cooking mixture.


    8. Cook the carrot and milk mixture until its liquid is reduced by 75%.
    make carrot pudding.


    9. Add 4 tbsp ghee. Note that when you add ghee there will be little milk in it.


    10. Mix well.


    11. Next, add 10 to 12 tbsp sugar or as per taste.


    12. Add cardamom powder - finely grind 5 to 6 green cardamom pods in a mortar-pestle, or about ½ to 1 teaspoon pre-ground cardamom powder.


    13. Mix very well.


    14. Continue cooking on a low flame, while stirring occasionally.


    15. Cook on low flame till the carrot pudding mixture thickens and reduces. Keep stirring in between.


    16. When the halwa becomes thick like halwa, add nuts and dry fruits of your choice. I have added 12 cashews, 12 almonds and 2 tbsp golden raisins.

    Note: Chop the nuts before adding. Raisins can be kept whole. If using saffron, you can add at this step.


    17. Mix again and keep stirring and cook on low flame.


    18. Cook on low flame till the halwa mixture becomes dry. The milk should be completely evaporated and you will see chunks of milk solids in the mixture. You will also see some ghee coming out from the edges.


    Remember to scrape off the milk solids sticking to the sides of the kadhai or pan and add them back to the carrot halwa. A little moisture in the halwa is also fine.

    19. Take out the carrot halwa from the pan and serve it hot. Whatever is left, heat it before serving and keep it in the fridge. Garnish with some chopped dry fruits while serving.

    Carrot Halwa with Milkmaid


    It is a quick and easy version of gajar ka halwa made with milkmaid or sweetened condensed milk. I am adding this recipe because some readers had asked me how to make Gajar Ka Halwa with Milkmaid.

    Winter in India is the time for long, tender and juicy carrots. So when I get them, I often make pudding with them.


    I usually make halwa with the traditional method of cooking grated carrots in milk (method above). but sometimes i also take the shortcut of making gajar ka halwa with condensed milk. It is a quick method as compared to the conventional method and consumes less time.


    I used 1.5 kg carrots and it took around 45 minutes to make the halwa. So if you cut the ratio in half or less, it will happen very quickly. I used sweetened condensed milk (Nestle Milkmaid) and didn't have to add any sugar.


    You will need


    • 1.5 kg carrots - about 9 cups tightly packed grated carrots
    • 6 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
    • 1.5 to 2 teaspoons cardamom powder or 8 to 9 green cardamoms - ground in a mortar
    • 1 tin sweetened condensed milk - I used Nestle Milkmaid, 400g
    • Sugar as needed, optional
    • ⅓ cup cashews
    • ⅓ cup golden raisins


    How to make


    To make gajar ka halwa with milkmaid or condensed milk, follow these steps:
    1. Melt 6 tbsp ghee in a heavy wok or heavy bottomed tawa or pan. Add 9 cups tightly packed grated carrots to it.
    2. Roast the carrots for about 15 to 20 minutes on a low flame till they become soft and cooked. Stir frequently.
    3. Pour in a full can of Milkmaid or sweetened condensed milk (400 g).
    4. Mix well.
    5. Add 1.5 to 2 teaspoons cardamom powder, ⅓ cup raisins and ⅓ cup cashews to it.
    6. Mix well and cook Gajar ka Halwa on low flame. Keep stirring occasionally till the mixture thickens, reduces and dries up.
    7. Serve carrot halwa hot or cold or hot.


    Carrot pudding with khoya

    This gajar ka halwa type is a delicious, quick method of making gajar ka halwa with khoya or mawa (milk solids), fresh soft carrots, sugar, ghee and dry fruits.
    The khoya (or evaporated milk solids) gives a lovely texture and flavor to this halwa. I have used homemade khoya to make this treat but you can also use store bought khoya.
    Gajar ka halwa is often made in our place during winters. The fun of eating hot halwa in winters is something else.

    Component

    • 1.5 kg carrots or 9 cups tightly packed grated carrots
    • 6 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
    • 2 cups khoya or mawa - grated or crumbled (evaporated milk solids) or 400 to 410 grams
    Add 1 to 1.25 cups sugar or as required
    • 1.5 to 2 teaspoons cardamom powder or 8 to 9 green cardamoms - ground in a mortar
    • 1 tablespoon pistachios, chopped or chopped - optional
    • ⅓ cup cashews, or add as needed
    • ⅓ cup golden raisins or add as required

    Method

    1. Heat 6 tbsp ghee in a deep bottomed heavy pan or wok. Add 9 cups tightly packed grated carrots.
    2. On a slow flame, fry the carrots in ghee with constant stirring till they become soft and cooked - about 15 to 20 minutes.
    3. Add 2 cups crumbled or grated khoya (aka mawa or evaporated milk solids).
    4. Mix well first.
    5. Then add 1 to 1.25 cups of sugar in it. Adjust the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of your khoya. If your khoya is sweet, start with just 1 cup of sugar.
    6. Mix well.
    7. You will see that both khoya and sugar will melt.
    8. Now add ⅓ cup cashews, ⅓ cup golden raisins, 1 tbsp pistachios (chopped) and 1.5 to 2 tsp cardamom powder.
    9. Mix again and, while stirring continuously, cook the carrot halwa on a slow flame. The pudding will start thickening, reducing and leaving the sides of the pan. When you see these signs, switch off the flame.
    10. Serve carrot halwa hot or cold.

    Instant Pot Carrot Halwa

    Instant Pot Carrot Pudding! Yes, make carrot halwa in an instant pot in about 15 minutes. So apparently a very quick method of making delicious Carrot Halwa in IP.


    Earlier I used to make carrot halwa in stovetop pressure cooker and now I have started making it in instant pot. I have to admit that the Instant Pot is one of my favorite tools for cooking. Indian food adapts very well to the Instant Pot and produces great results.


    Traditionally this Indian carrot halwa is slow cooked and cooked for hours with constant stirring. With the Instant Pot, it takes just 15 minutes to make halwa with the same taste and texture as traditionally made halwa. If you don't believe me, you have to try it yourself.


    Cooking the pudding in an IP requires less hand-working and stirring than in the traditional slow-cooking method.
    This recipe uses three main ingredients to make halwa – fresh juicy carrots, milk and sugar. For more flavor and aroma, I add some nuts, dry fruits and a little cardamom powder to it.


    Component


    • 500 grams carrots or 4 to 4.5 cups grated carrots
    • 1.5 cups full fat milk or whole milk
    • Add ½ cup sugar or as needed
    • 4 tbsp ghee
    • 1 tbsp raisins
    • 1 tbsp cashews - chopped
    • 1 tbsp almonds - chopped
    • 1 tbsp Pistachios - chopped
    •  ½ teaspoon cardamom powder (ground cardamom) or 4 to 5 green cardamoms, ground in a mortar

    Instruction

    Making Gajar Ka Halwa in the Instant Pot is very easy as you do not have to waste time stirring it. Follow these easy steps to make Instant Pot Gajar Ka Halwa:
    1. In a 6-quart Instant Pot steel insert, add 4 to 4.5 cups grated carrots, 1.5 cups whole milk, ½ cup sugar, and 4 tablespoons ghee.
    2. Mix all the ingredients with a spoon to make a uniform mixture.
    3. Seal with the lid of the Instant Pot. Put the valve in the sealing position. Pressure cook on high flame for 3 minutes.
    4. After pressure cooking for 3 minutes (beep should sound), perform Quick Pressure Release (QPR) by carefully lifting the pressure valve. Open the lid when all the pressure is released. Stir and mix well.
    5. Press Cancel and then press the Sauté button, set the time to 5 to 10 minutes on normal mode.
    6. The carrot halwa will start boiling and bubbles will start forming. Keep stirring it in between until the halwa becomes thick.
    7. When the halwa becomes almost thick, add 1 tbsp chopped or chopped almonds, cashews, pistachios and raisins to it. Add ½ tsp cardamom powder.
    8. Keep stirring and simmering till the liquid evaporates and the carrot halwa becomes thick. The halwa will look shiny and the edges will be covered with a little ghee.

    Make suggestions

    • Gajar ka halwa is served hot in the bitter cold of North India.
    • If you want, you can eat carrot halwa after cooling it. It is a personal preference, just like some people like hot pudding while others like it cold.
    • In some restaurants, they serve carrot pudding mixed with vanilla ice cream. Trust me: This combination tastes good. It's like carrot cake pudding a la mode!

    Storing Carrot Halwa

    • Refrigerator: You can store carrot halwa in the refrigerator. It stays fine for about 10-12 days, but never lasts that long in our house. When serving with leftovers, reheat the halwa and serve.

    • Freezer: Gajar ka halwa can be made in large quantities and frozen. Carrot pudding stays good in the freezer for about a month.

    Expert Tips for Carrot Halwa

    • Buy the best carrots: It is important to buy carrots that are tender and juicy so that they are easy to grate. Unless you have a food processor, prepare yourself for a workout for your arms. Still, you have to keep stirring them at regular intervals. Small and medium-sized carrots are better than large carrots, which can be woody and tough.

    • Cooking: When you cook the pudding mixture in the pan, remember to stir it frequently. Leaving the wok or pan uncovered will cause the milk and carrots to burn or brown on the bottom of the pan. So keep stirring regularly and keep an eye on it while boiling the halwa.

    • Grating versus slicing carrots: You can choose to grate or slice the carrots. Carrots can be grated using a hand-held box grater or a food processor. Obviously, a food processor makes it easier to grate carrots, but it's not necessary.

    • Best pan for making carrot halwa: I suggest using a heavy iron skillet or wok for making halwa. You can also use a thick bottomed pan or wok.

    • Scaling: You can easily halve, double or triple this carrot halwa recipe, depending on the quantity you want to make.

    FAQ


    How long does Carrot Halwa last?
    Keep carrot halwa in the fridge for 10 to 12 days. Do not store it at room temperature as it will spoil. You can also freeze carrot halwa for about a month.

    Can I make it vegetarian?
    Sure! Just use your favorite non-dairy milk and replace ghee with coconut oil. But keep in mind that coconut oil will give aroma and taste to the halwa.

    Can I make carrot halwa without dry fruits?
    Absolutely! Feel free to use the roasted seeds of your choice instead, or omit them altogether.


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