Gajar Ka Halwa is an Indian dessert made with lots of grated carrots simmered in full fat milk, sugar, spices and ghee.
Gajar गाजर means carrot in Hindi and Halwa हलवा originally comes from the Arabic word Halva حلوة which means sweet. This dessert has a lot of history. Halva has travelled through Persian, Indian, Greek, Jewish, Turkish and other Middle Eastern communities for many years and there are several variations of this dessert. As for India, it is believed that halwa was brought over during the expansion of the Mughal Empire in the 16th Century.
Gajar Ka Halwa is a wintertime treat, and one that is made during Diwali and other celebrations to show love, happiness and warmth. The ingredients for my Gajar Ka Halwa are simple. However, you need to be patient to make this. It is not meant to be rushed. The best desserts need time and patience. It is not the ‘healthiest’ dessert out there, but it is certainly one of the most tastiest Indian desserts.
My nani used to make this a lot. I have recreated this recipe in the simplest way possible so anyone, with any background or experience in cooking, can make this in the comfort of their own home. This dessert is meant to be shared with your loved ones, so by all means, share away!
Deliciously Creamy Gajar Ka Halwa (Indian Carrot Pudding)
- 1 stainless steel pot
- 2 Spatula
- 1 Grater
- 1 litre full-fat milk
- 1 tsp ginger minced
- 60 grams ghee or butter
- 400 grams carrots grated in larger shavings
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tbsp cardamom powder green cadamom
- 6 tbsps brown sugar
- 20 strands saffron
- 1/4 tsp lemon zest
- boil the milk until the layer of fat is visible on the top of the milk. Set this aside to cool in the pot.
- grate the carrots and set aside
- In the chefs pan, heat up the butter/ghee and toast the ginger until fragrant (make sure everything from this step onwards is on LOW heat)
- Add the carrots and cook it until slightly tender
- Pour in the milk, and mix it in
- Add the saffron and sugar. Let this mixture simmer for 30 minutes.
- At the 30 minute mark, add the cardamom and cinnamon powder. Let this simmer for another 30 minutes on LOW heat
- 1 hour should have passed by now, add the lemon zest and stir this for another 15-20 minutes until the carrots fully absorb the milk. The mixture should be pudding-like and not watery.
- Serve warm, with shaved pistachios and almonds.
- Pre-boiling the milk helps create a beautiful creamy texture for the Gajar Ka Halwa
- It will take a while if your gas is low, but that brings out the best flavour. Slow and steady wins the race
- Be sure not to over-cook the carrots. Keep checking the mixture. Once all the milk has evaporated, you need to ensure the carrots do not burn.
- You can store this in the fridge for a week.
- My next recipe will show you how to make leftover Gajar Ka Halwa cupcakes (eggless)