Gajar halwa is a favourite Indian dessert prepared using just 3 main ingredients – Carrots, Milk and Sugar. This sweet dish is typically prepared with red carrots which are seasonal and available in India in winter. The red carrots has their own distinct sweet taste which makes a super delicious dessert. Though traditional method of making ‘Gajar Halwa‘ require one’s patience as you need to cook carrots until it absorbs all goodness of milk; but it is worth the efforts.
And unfortunately, red carrots are not easily available in UK, though sometimes they might be found at Indian grocery stores. But as they say necessity is the mother of invention 😉 my fondness to this desserts, encouraged me to try the traditional recipe with orange carrots. And I must admit, it is equally tasty and delightful.
So without any further ado, we shall jump to the recipe !!
3 cups of grated carrots
3/4 cups of sugar
5 cups of milk
1/2 cups of ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 cups of chopped cashews
1/2 cups of chopped almonds
2 tsp of cardamom powder
Few strands of saffron
Pinch of salt
Take a thick bottom pan on a medium-low heat and add grated carrots along with milk and saffron strands. Saffron strands adds nice aroma and taste but of course it is optional.
Cook carrots in milk on a low flame. Keep stirring continuously thus milk won’t stick to the bottom of pan. Continue cooking until carrots absorbs all the milk.
Keep the heat low throughout the cooking process, it will take around hour or so. Be patient here as results will be really amazing 🙂 Once carrots are cooked, it will turn translucent and mixture will be semi thick.
In a separate small pan, heat the ghee and fry dry fruits. Stir-in these fried dry fruits into pan of cooked carrots (PS. do not switch off the heat but keep it on low flame).
Mix carrots and dry fruits throughly. Next add sugar into the carrots-dry fruits mixture. Add sugar only once carrots are cooked else it won’t allow carrots to cook further.
Once we add sugar, it will melt and loosen up the halwa. Continue cooking on low heat until halwa comes together and leaves from the sides of pan.
Lastly, add cardamom powder and pinch of salt. A little salt adds magic to any sweet dish but just a pinch 🙂
Mix everything together and turn off the heat. Hot delectable ‘Gajar Halwa‘ is ready to dig in. Garnish it with slivered almonds and other dry fruits. You can enjoy it hot or cold, both ways it tastes amazing. You can also serve it with vanila ice-cream, that’s one of my favourite combination.
This authentic process to make Gajar Halwa is slightly lengthy and needs patience. And if you are short on time then use khoya in the recipe. Cook grated carrots with 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of khoya. It will save the time and results in equally delicious halwa. Khoya is a solid form of milk and easily available in India. If you can’t find khoya then use unsalted ricotta cheese. I have tried and tasted ricotta cheese version, you surely won’t be disappointed.
So, I hope you find the recipe useful and would love to try it. If there is any feedback or suggestions then I am all ears.
Thanks for stopping by and reading this blog !!!