Gajar ka halwa or carrot halwa is the classic Indian dessert recipe. Probably one of the most popular dessert after kheer or Indian rice pudding and gulab jamun. It is synonymous with weddings in north India in winter months. There are many different types of halwa recipes you can make. However, gajar no shiro is the king of winter season. While the west has been cooking carrots as carrot cake, we chopped them down to make a delicious carrot pudding.
You can make it a day before the party too. Serve it hot on a cool winter morning with some poori. You can also pair it with some vanilla ice cream. You will never find someone saying no to this delectable gajrela.
You can make it in an electric pressure cooker or traditional one. You can also make instant pot gajar halwa or in a heavy-based pan. This pudding is a great way to use the fresh carrots at home or extra full-fat milk.
Benefits of gajar halwa
- Carrots are great for eyesight.
- Milk solids also make it good for calcium.
- Adding beet in the below recipe, makes it rich in iron too.
- You may add nuts like unsalted pistachios and golden raisins on top to increase Vitamin E content too.
How to make orange gajar ka halwa?
Seasonal red carrots are available only in winter in India. I hardly find them in Melbourne. Some people resort to using red color to get that richness. However, we didn't want to go that way. Having a young kid at home, we do not use food colors. We always want to see on how to make things better. We have made this recipe with the orange carrots.
Traditional red carrots are not available in Australia. Hence, getting its deep red color is a challenge. However, adding some beetroot did the trick. Presenting, Indian carrot pudding with Aussie orange carrots. We could finally make the halva as it should be. Deep rich red. Adding beets makes no difference to taste. In fact, it only adds to the nutrient value.It increases the iron content as well natural sweetness. Win-Win!
- Deep saucepan / cast iron pan
- Food processor / Vitamix blender
You can make this recipe with brown sugar instead of white sugar. You can use jaggery or palm sugar as an healthier alternative.
There are different ways to make gajar halwa.
- You can make Gajar halwa with khoya /mawa.
- You can also make it with milkmaid or condensed milk. However, you will need to adjust sugar accordingly. Milkmaid helps add richness to the halwa, however sugar content also increases.
- Another way of making it is adding some condensed milk along with normal milk. This cuts the time but adds the sugar.
- You can also make it from lite milk instead of whole milk though the texture is not so rich. You can also add some milk powder to fasten the process.
- Indian carrot dessert never disappoints as it is rich in flavor and texture. You can make it with or without nuts.
- grated carrots
- small beetroot boiled and grated (optional)
- full fat milk
- khoya or mawa optional
- sugar or as per taste
- ghee or clarified butter
- nuts (unsalted almonds, pistachio, cashews)
- cardamom powder / crushed green cardamom pods
refer to recipe card for details.
How to make carrot halwa with orange carrots?
- Heat ghee in a large saucepan, cook grated carrots for few minutes.
2. Add grated beetroot to the carrot mixture. (optional, only if you want bright red/orange color with the orange carrots)
3. Add milk and let it cook on slow/medium flame, let the carrot mixture come to a boil.
4. Once it starts boiling, let it cook on slow flame.
5. Continue to cook, allowing the milk to evaporate.
6. As the milk is reduced to ⅓ of original quantity, add sugar.
7. Add mawa (milk solids) and let it cook.Addition of mawa is optional.
8. Once the milk has evaporated, add ghee and let is cook until the ghee starts to ooze out.
Gajrela or gajar ka halwa is a very simple recipe. You just need grated carrots,milk/milk solids(khoya/condensed milk) and some sugar & nuts.
You can just make it with full cream milk and carrots.However you will need more milk to cook the carrots and get that creamy texture.You can also make gajar ka halwa with milkmaid instead of khoya.
You can reduce the fat and the sugar content in the halwa. Cook the carrots in milk, you can also choose lite milk. Add sugar as per your taste. If you want to make carrot halwa with jaggery, you can add jaggery powder once all the milk has been absorbed.
Yes, in this recipe above, we have used orange carrots to the make the halwa. To get that deep red color, we have added boiled beetroot.
There are many different types of halwa recipes in India. We make it from fruits, veggies, flour, semolina and even lentils.
Gajar ka Halwa recipe with Khoya | Indian carrot pudding recipe
- Heat 2 tbsp. ghee in a pan,cook grated carrots for few minutes.
- Add grated beetroot to the carrots
- Add milk,cardamom and let it cook on slow/medium flame,let it come to a boil.
- Once it starts boiling,let it cook on slow flame.
- Continue to cook,allowing the milk to evaporate
- As the milk is reduced to ⅓ of original quantity,add Sugar
- Add mawa(milk solids) and let it cook,add chopped nuts now.
- Once the milk has evaporated,add 2 tbsp. ghee and let is cook until the ghee starts to ooze out.
Store it in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can also freeze it for later. Just thaw and microwave before your serve.
Is Carrot halwa served hot or cold?
Primarily its served warm or hot as there are lot of milk solids in the halwa that are not edible if served cold. It can be served on its own or you can serve gajar ka halwa with ice cream.
Recap: gajar ka halwa video
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
Conclusion: Celebrate your special occasions with sweet treats or make your everyday a special occasion with favorite desserts. Afterall, life is short!