India

Indian Carrot Dessert – Gajar Ka Halwa

September 12, 2017

Packed with nuts, raisins, and infused with cardamom, this sweet Indian Carrot Dessert (Gajar Ka Halwa) is made from a combination of milk, sugar, ghee, and carrots. It resembles pudding and has a unique texture and taste. SO GOOD!

Gajar Ka Halwa is a well known Indian carrot dessert consisting of grated carrots, ghee, milk, sugar, and nuts. Infused with cardamom, it's truly amazing! | cookingtheglobe.com

Long time no see, guys! I’ve been crazy busy lately so sorry for that. The recipe I want to show you today was totally worth the wait, though.

When someone mentions Indian cuisine my mind immediately thinks of spicy curries, chutneys, and a huge variety of vegetarian food. Never desserts or anything sweet.

I don’t know if that’s because savory food overshadows sweets or Indian people are not into that kind of stuff (I am certainly not an Indian food expert because of my love-hate relationship with spicy things). Either way, a few days ago, when reading a local magazine, I stumbled upon one of those never heard before Indian desserts and decided to give it a shot.

Gajar Ka Halwa is a well known Indian carrot dessert consisting of grated carrots, ghee, milk, sugar, and nuts. Infused with cardamom, it's truly amazing! | cookingtheglobe.com

What drew me into trying it out was the fact that the foundation of this dessert is… Carrots. Veggies in sweet things is not something I’m used to, that’s for sure.

This Indian carrot dessert is also known as carrot halwa or carrot pudding. The Indian name is Gajar Ka Halwa.

I will be frank with you. At first, I was super skeptical about this one. There was not too much hope that this dessert will make it into the blog. A few hours later I couldn’t stop munching on this carrot goodness!

Gajar Ka Halwa is a well known Indian carrot dessert consisting of grated carrots, ghee, milk, sugar, and nuts. Infused with cardamom, it's truly amazing! | cookingtheglobe.com

Ok, so what it’s about? Gajar Ka Halwa is a blend of grated carrots, ghee, milk, and sugar with the addition of nuts, raisins, and cardamom. After a few hour simmer, you get a very dry substance resembling pudding or halwa.

If I would taste it with my eyes closed, I would never tell that it contains carrots. Such an interesting texture and taste. I have never tried anything like that before!

This sweet, rich, melt-in-your-mouth dessert can be served both warm and chilled. I liked the chilled version more but it’s totally up to you.

Gajar Ka Halwa is a well known Indian carrot dessert consisting of grated carrots, ghee, milk, sugar, and nuts. Infused with cardamom, it's truly amazing! | cookingtheglobe.com

You gotta try Gajar Ka Halwa, guys. It’s most probably the best new kind of dessert I tried in a few last years. My wife couldn’t get her hands off it too. I imagine that kids should also love it. A true hit I’m certainly going to make again and again! Gajar Ka Halwa is a well known Indian carrot dessert consisting of grated carrots, ghee, milk, sugar, and nuts. Infused with cardamom, it's truly amazing! | cookingtheglobe.com

Print
Indian Carrot Dessert - Gajar Ka Halwa
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
2 hr 50 mins
Total Time
3 hr
 

A signature Indian dessert - carrot pudding or halwa! Packed with nuts and infused with cardamom, it's unique and crazy delicious!

Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 people
Author: Cooking The Globe
Ingredients
  • 2 lb (900g) carrots , peeled
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup coarsely ground almonds (you can also use almond flour)
  • 1 tablespoon golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios , for garnish
Instructions
  1. Grate the carrots either using a hand grater or a food processor.

  2. Warm the ghee in a large pot. Add the grated carrots and saute for about 5 minutes until they soften, stirring constantly.

  3. Add the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 2-3 hours until all the milk is absorbed and there is no liquid left. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pot.

  4. Raise the heat to medium and add the sugar. Cook for 30 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts.

  5. Add the cardamom, almonds, and raisins. Cook 15-20 minutes more until the mixture gets really dry and starts to pull away from the sides of the pot. Keep stirring actively at this point because it can easily burn.

  6. When done, remove from the heat and let cool. Serve either warm or chilled garnished with some chopped pistachios. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes
Adapted from Indian For Everyone by Agate Surrey

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2 Comments

  • Reply G September 18, 2017 at 3:23 am

    Great website! I’ll definitely combing through it for inspiration.

    As an Indian, I can definitely tell you we love our sweets! They tend to be pretty rich and flavorful, and are made from everything from fried chickpea flour to nuts like cashews and pistachio to veggies like carrots and long gourd. We also have many that are milk based. They also tend to be fairly regional, each state has some specialty.

    A tip for the gajar ka halwa- you can add khoya as a thickener. It is a dairy product made from milk that acts as a base for most of our desserts. It can usually be found at an Indian store. If you don’t have one close by, you can substitute it with unsalted ricotta cheese.

    • Reply Igor September 21, 2017 at 11:57 am

      Thanks for stopping by! It’s always nice to get an opinion from a local 🙂 So you do have plenty of desserts, huh. I need to check out more of them because I loved this carrot goodness so much.

      I don’t think I would be able to find khoya in my country but unsalted ricotta cheese is a possibility 😉

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