Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa)

4.39 from 18 votes

Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa) is an Indian dessert made with fresh red carrots, milk, khoya, and sugar. It’s a winter delicacy popular at festivals, weddings, and special occasions. Learn the traditional method to make this Indian dessert.

Try my Carrot Milk, Carrot Raita, and Gajar Methi Sabji, when red carrots are in season.

Gajar ka halwa served in a bowl.
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I am very passionate about some recipes, and this Gajar ka Halwa is one of them. I personally feel that these classic recipes deserve to be made traditionally. No efforts should be made to make them healthier and no shortcuts to be taken to reduce the cooking time. Honestly, it’s an insult to these epic dishes, and you can say whatever; the taste that comes from using the proper ingredients in the proper quantity and the muscle work that goes into making these dishes makes a lot of difference in the taste, which is totally worth it.

I suggest eating them in moderation so you can enjoy them to the fullest while still maintaining your health and weight.

Every house has its recipe for carrot halwa, but if you take my word for it, my mom’s is one of the best I have ever tasted. Anyone who has tasted it has said the same.

She does not take shortcuts or skimp on ghee and khoya when making this delicious sweet. I am glad I learned her recipe and am now sharing it with you all to try.

About Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa)

Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa, Indian Carrot Pudding) is a popular North Indian and Pakistani dessert made with red winter carrots. In different Indian languages, it is also called gajrela, gajar pak, or gajorer halwa.

This dessert is made only in winter when red carrots are in season. You will find all the sweet shops in Northern India selling this delicacy during winter. People also make it at home as the taste of homemade halwa is unmatchable, and you are sure of the ingredients that go into making it.

Ingredients

Carrots – This halwa is made using red carrots available only in winter. They are sweet and give the halwa a nice red color.

Check your nearby Indian grocery stores to source them.

You can replace the red carrots with black carrots, too. Black carrots are available in some parts of India during winter and taste great in this halwa.

Note – Do not try it with orange carrots; they taste salty, and your halwa will not turn out well.

Granulated White Sugar – I like my carrot halwa, which is mildly sweet, but you can adjust the sugar to your taste. You can also replace the granulated white sugar with brown sugar or powdered jaggery.

Milk and Khoya – Use whole milk (full-fat milk) only.

Khoya (Khava, Milk Solids) is traditionally used to make this halwa recipe. It is readily available in any Indian grocery store’s refrigerator or freezer section.

If khoya is unavailable, mix milk powder with some milk and make a thick dough. You can use it in place of khoya.

Ghee – Ghee adds richness and makes the halwa more delicious.

Nuts – I added slivered almonds and pistachios. To make it richer, you can also add cashews, raisins, etc.

Cardamom Powder – Adding freshly ground cardamom powder gives the halwa a delicious flavor and aroma.

Add a pinch of saffron while cooking to make this popular Indian dessert even more indulgent.

How To Make Gajar Ka Halwa

Preparation

Wash 500 g of red carrots with water and peel them using a vegetable peeler.

Now grate the carrots using the medium hole of a box grater.

You can also use a food processor to grate the carrots.

Grated carrots.

Grate 120 g of khoya using the medium hole of a box grater.

Gather the remaining ingredients.

Make The Halwa

Add 500 g of grated red carrots and 2 cups whole milk to a heavy bottom pan and mix well.

Carrot and milk added to a pan.

Cook on medium-low heat until all the milk is absorbed (20-25 minutes), stirring frequently.

Milk absorbed.

Once the milk is absorbed and the carrot mixture looks thick, add 60 g of ghee to the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently.

Ghee added to the pan.

Now add 120 g of sugar and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Note – You can increase or decrease the amount of sugar to your liking. I like very lightly sweet halwa, and this measurement is perfect for that. 

Sugar added to the pan.

Once the sugar is dissolved well, add 120 g of grated khoya to the pan and cook for 25-30 minutes or until ghee leaves on the sides, stirring at regular intervals. 

Khoya added to the pan.

Add 1 teaspoon cardamom powder and 4 tablespoon of slivered almonds and pistachios and mix well.

Cardamom powder and slivered nuts added to the pan.

Serve hot.

Ready gajar ka halwa.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did my gajar ka halwa turn black?

Never fry the carrots in ghee. It might turn their color and make the halwa black.
Always add carrots and milk to the pan and cook until the milk is absorbed. Add the ghee later.

Can I make a vegan version of carrot halwa?

Yes, you can.
Replace regular dairy milk with plant-based milk like almond, cashew, or coconut milk.
Ghee can be replaced with coconut oil.
Skip adding khoya to the recipe or replace it with vegan condensed milk or vegan evaporated milk.

Serving Suggestions

Gajar Halwa is best served hot, on its own, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It can also be served at room temperature.

For extra crunch, top it with loads of slivered nuts. To make it extra indulgent, top it with some grated khoya.

This halwa can also be eaten on vrat (Hindu fasting days).

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Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa) is a traditional Indian sweet dessert made with fresh red carrots, milk, and sugar. It's a winter delicacy and is popularly served at festivals, weddings and special occasions. Learn the traditional method to make this Indian dessert (vegetarian, gluten-free).
4.39 from 18 votes

Gajar Ka Halwa Recipe (Carrot Halwa)

Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa) is a traditional Indian sweet dessert made with fresh red carrots, milk, and sugar. It's a winter delicacy and is popularly served at festivals, weddings, and special occasions. Learn the traditional method to make this Indian dessert.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients 

  • 500 grams red carrots
  • 2 cups whole milk (full-fat milk)
  • 60 grams ghee
  • 120 grams sugar
  • 120 grams khoya (mawa) (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 4 tablespoons slivered nuts (I used almonds and pistachios)
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Instructions 

  • Wash the carrots with water and peel them using a vegetable peeler.
  • Now grate the carrots using the medium hole of a box grater.
  • You can also use a food processor to grate the carrots.
  • Add grated carrots and milk to a heavy bottom pan and mix well.
  • Cook on medium-low heat until all the milk is absorbed (20-25 minutes), stirring frequently.
  • Once the milk is absorbed and the carrot mixture looks thick, add ghee to the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Now add sugar and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Note – You can increase or decrease the amount of sugar as per your liking. I like very lightly sweet halwa and this measurement is perfect for that. 
  • Once the sugar is dissolved well, add khoya to the pan and cook for 25-30 minutes or until ghee starts to leave on the sides, stirring at regular intervals. 
  • Add cardamom powder and slivered almonds and pistachios and mix well.
  • Serve hot.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

You can replace the red carrots with black carrots too. Black carrots are available in some parts of India during winter and they lend a great taste to this halwa.
Do not attempt it with orange carrots, they have a bitter taste and your halwa will not turn out well.
If khoya is not available, then mix milk powder with some milk and make a thick dough. You can use it in place of khoya.

Nutrition

Calories: 352kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 136mg, Potassium: 375mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 12855IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 261mg, Iron: 0.3mg
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17 Comments

  1. I love gajar halwa and when I was in Delhi that used to be our winter dessert !!! Unfortunately it is so so hard to find red carrots here in the States and I am so glad you mentioned the importance of red carrots. I have had gajar halwa made of orange carrots and it is horrible !! No one makes good carrot halwa here in the states. Have yet to find anyone making it as it was made when I was a kid in Delhi !!

  2. Can we add sugar in the first place or not? Why in every recipe we add sugar when the milk evaporates? Do you know? It’s my husband’s query ????

  3. 5 stars
    carrot halwa A Perfect dessert for the winter session. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes step by step with such good images. I’ll Definitely try this at home.