Gajar ka halwa or carrot halwa is a classic Indian sweet dish made with freshly grated carrots, ghee, and milk, as well as khoya and sugar. This carrot-based sweet dessert pudding is creamy and decadent. Gajar ka halwa is a popular dessert in India, especially during the winter months when the market is flooded with carrots. It is also known as gajar pak, gajrela, gajorer halua and many other names.
The halwa tastes the best when it is cooked by mom. I remember in my childhood every winter we used have carrot halwa quite often. Even in my college days when I used to come home, my mother used to prepare this dish especially for me.
Now following my mother’s tradition, I prepare gajar ka halwa at least once during Winter months. Recently, I was craving for this halwa, especially looking at all the food posts in different social media. I could have it in a restaurant but frankly speaking my taste buds do not satiate with them. I feel they cook grated carrots in sugar syrup instead of milk (cost cutting idea I guess) and later sprinkle grated khoya on top which is quite awful.
As it takes a bit time (grating, slow cooking) and is high in calories, I try to make at least once or twice during winter to keep my taste buds and weighing scale in check.
Here I am answering few questions which will help a novice while cooking gajar a halwa.
Which types of carrots should be used for gajar ka halwa recipe?
Fresh red juicy carrots, which are plentiful during the winter months, are ideal for making gajar ka halwa because they are naturally sweet. However, you can prepare carrot halwa using regular orange carrots. This time I have used orange carrots as I got them in nearby market.
Can I use condensed milk in gajar ka halwa preparation?
Many people use condensed milk in gajar ka halwa preparation. The recipe of carrot halwa I have shared does not contain condensed milk.
However, if you want to use condensed milk, you have to reduce the quantity of milk, khoya and sugar to balance the taste. Use of milkmaid reduces the cooking time of the halwa.
Can I store Carrot Halwa?
Yes you can store carrot halwa in refrigerator in an airtight container for 10 to 12 days.
You can take out the required portion in a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for few seconds before consuming it and keep the remaining portion in the refrigerator to consume later.
You can also have it chilled.
How can I serve gajar ka halwa?
Gajar ka halwa is served at the end of the meal as a dessert. Some prefer to have it as warm, and some prefer chilled. You can also served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
You can also stuff patishapta (Bengali style crepe) with this decadent halwa.
Gajar Ka Halwa | Carrot Halwa
- 500 gms Carrot
- 750 ml Milk
- 50 gms Khoya or Mawa (Milk Solids) grated
- ⅔ cup Sugar Adjust as per your taste bud
- 8-10 nos Cashew Nuts
- 8-10 nos Raisins
- 2-3 tablespoon Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- Peel the carrots and grate them. Leave the grated carrot aside for 30 minutes.
- Dry roast the cashew nuts in ghee and keep them aside.
- Now heat ghee in a wok and add the grated carrots. Fry them for 5-8 minutes and put the cardamom powder.
- Then add the milk and cook under slow flame until the milk evaporates. Keep on stirring in between to avoid sticking to the pan.
- Now add the sugar and grated khoya. Allow to mix them evenly with other ingredients while continuously stirring it.
- Switch off the gas before the halwa dries up completely. Add the raisins and roasted cashew nuts. Serve it either hot or cool.
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