Gajar Ka Halwa or Carrot Halwa is a traditional Indian sweet or dessert made with fresh red carrots, milk, and sugar. It’s a winter delicacy and is made using the juicy red carrots. My mom makes the best ever carrot halwa and today I am sharing her simple and easy recipe to make this. Here is how to make it.
Carrots are considered a vegetable, and used in all kinds of vegetable gravies, curries and desserts. Gajar Ka Halwa is one dish where the sweetness of the carrots is allowed to shine.
This sweet pudding mainly associated with North India, especially Punjab, is a rich, creamy dessert made using carrots, sugar and full cream milk or condensed milk and khoya.
I haven’t heard of any Indian who doesn’t love a good carrot halwa. Have you?
This recipe of Gajar ka Halwa is popular in Pakistan too and many Pakistanies make it just like the Indians.
Garnished with slivers of dry fruits, it goes well with a dollop of ice cream on the side, just like the favourite Gulab Jamun.
This dessert is very popular across India and many functions and weddings often end with this halwa served after meals.
Most households in North Indian have their own recipe to make Gajar ka Halwa and with minor changes here and there, the taste changes drastically.
This recipe of Carrot Halwa is my mom’s and is one of the best I have had.
And it’s not the daughter in me speaking. Whoever has tasted her Gajar Ka Halwa to date swear by it.
My parents are visiting me these days and I asked my mom to make a small batch of Carrot Halwa so I could note down the quantity of the ingredients and see the method clearly.
Since we had already gorged on the 5 kg halwa that she brought along when she came here, we decided to go for only half kg Gajar this time.
You can easily double or triple the quantity of the ingredients and make a bigger batch if you want to.
Along with the ingredients, the cooking time will also increase, so keep that in mind.
I am enjoying warm halwa with vanilla ice cream right now. You make it too and enjoy.
Pro Tips by Neha
Use red carrots to make this halwa. These carrots are available only in winters and the real taste of this halwa shines through when you use red carrots to make it.
You can replace the red carrots with black carrots too. Black Carrots are available in some parts of India during winters and they lend a great taste to this halwa.
Do not fry the grated carrot before adding milk otherwise they will turn dark in colour.
Add milk and carrots together in the pan and cook.
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 food processor to grate the carrots but you can use a simple hand grater too.
Keep stirring the halwa at regular intervals. It needs a lot of muscle work.
Make this halwa in batches if you are not able to handle all the heavy work.
You can freeze the halwa for 1-2 months. Just transfer it in a freezer-safe box and freeze. Thaw before using and warm in a microwave.
You can make this gajar halwa without khoya also. Increase the amount of milk by ½ liter and skip the khoya.
Follow the remaining process exactly. However, the reality of taste comes when khoya is added to it.
So skip it, only if it is really not possible.
Gajar ka halwa can be made in a slow cooker too.
You can also add ½ beetroot to the halwa and make carrot beetroot halwa.
How to make it in the microwave?
To make carrot halwa in a microwave, add carrot and milk in a bowl and microwave on high for 6 minutes.
Add ghee and cardamom powder and microwave for another 5 minutes.
Now add sugar and microwave for 4 minutes. Add khoya and microwave for 5-6 minutes. Check if the ghee has separated on the sides.
Otherwise microwave for another 2-3 minutes. Garnish with dry fruits and serve hot.
How to make it in a pressure cooker?
To make gajar ka Halwa in a pressure cooker, add milk and carrots in a pressure cooker.
Pressure cook for one whistle on high heat and one on low heat. Let the pressure release.
Add ghee and cardamom powder and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add sugar and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Now add khoya and cook until ghee starts to separate from sides. Garnish with dry fruits and serve.
How to make it with condensed milk (Milkmaid)?
To make carrot halwa using condensed milk, just replace it with half of the khoya and use ½ cup condensed milk instead.
In India, the most popular brand of condensed milk is Milkmaid. Use whichever sweetened condensed milk is available in your part of the world.
You can reduce the sugar amount also as condensed milk is slightly sweet.
You can add 1 cup milk and skip adding the khoya at all. This comes in handy when Khoya is not available.
Make sure to adjust the sugar since condensed milk has a lot of sugar in it already.
Why does it turn black sometimes?
Do not fry the gajar in ghee. It turns their color and makes the halwa black.
Always add carrots and milk together in the pan and cook until milk absorbs. Add the ghee later.
Can I make it with jaggery?
You can replace the sugar in the recipe with liquid or powdered jaggery. It will be healthy than the classic version and will be different in taste too.
How to make it Sugar-free for Diabetics?
Good news is you can make this dessert sugar free. If you are diabetic and cannot eat sweet treats, then try this recipe with sugarfree.
How to make it Vegan?
This halwa speaks of indulgence and that comes mostly from the khoya and milk used in the recipe.
But if you are a vegan and lactose intolerant, worry not. Vegan Richa has a lovely Vegan Carrot Halwa Recipe on her blog. Do try it out.
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Step By Step Recipe
Wash the carrot and peel them. Grate the carrot to medium thickness.
Add the carrots and milk in a heavy bottom pan.
Cook on low heat until all the milk is absorbed.
Add ghee and cardamom powder in the pan. Fry for 4-5 minutes on low heat. Keep stirring continuously.
Add sugar and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
Now add grated khoya and cook for 15-20 minutes on low heat until ghee starts to leave on the sides. Keep stirring in between. Garnish with almond and pistachio slivers. Serve warm
Gajar Ka Halwa Recipe
- ½ kg Carrots
- ½ litre Full Fat Milk
- 60 g Ghee
- 1 tsp Freshly ground cardamom powder
- 120 g Sugar
- 125 g Khoya
- Almond and pistachio slivers (For garnishing)
- Wash the carrot and peel them.
- Grate the carrot to medium thickness.
- Add the carrots and milk in a heavy bottom pan and cook on low heat until all the milk is absorbed.
- Add ghee in the pan along with cardamom powder.
- Fry for 4-5 minutes on low heat.
- Keep stirring continuously.
- Add sugar and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
- Add grated khoya and cook for 15-20 minutes on low heat until ghee starts to leave on the sides.
- Keep stirring in between.
- Garnish with almond and pistachio slivers.
- Serve warm.