With the arrival of winters, the one sweet dish we all often crave for is Gajar ka Halwa or Carrot Halwa. Since winter season brings is laden with so many festivals in India like Dusshera and Diwali, Gajar ka halwa becomes a staple indian dessert in most indian homes. I must say that after gulab jamuns the one dessert that i truly love to have is carrot halwa. What can be more comforting than warm carrot halwa on a cold and frosty winter day!!
Gajar ka Halwa is basically a famous North Indian sweet desert pudding that is made from grated carrots which is slowly cooked in milk with sugar. I have posted the traditional way of making the gajar ka halwa that is a bit time consuming process and usually takes an hour or more. But the final flavour and texture of the slow cooked halwa is indeed to die for.
Gajar ka halwa is usually made from red juicy carrots also sometimes referred to as Delhi carrots. These carrots have their own natural sweetness and a vibrant colour that enhances the overall taste of the halwa. However, you can make this halwa using the regular carrots as well but the taste might be a bit different. Care should be taken to avoid using the more fibrous carrots as they are less juicier and may also be devoid of its sweet taste.
The carrots can be grated manually or in a food processor. Gajar ka halwa can be prepared in a variety of way either using milk, khoya or condensed milk. For those who intend to make this recipe a bit quicker, they can prepare it in microwave or in a pressure cooker. But the slowly cooked halwa is beyond comparison. Since the halwa is simmered for a good hour or so, one should use always use a pan with a thick base or go for non stick pan.
Gajar ka halwa can be stored for a week in refrigerator. I usually prefer to warm it before serving but one can also prefer eating it cold.
Ingredients required for Gajar ka Halwa Recipe:
Carrots – 1 kg (grated)
Whole Milk – 1 litre
Clarified butter or Ghee – 5-6 tbsp
Sugar – 1 1/4 cup
Green cardamom – 7-8 (crushed)
Raisins – 2 tbsp
Almonds – 10-12 (chopped) + some more to garnish
How to make Gajar ka Halwa or Carrot Halwa:
- Wash and peel the carrots and grate them, either manually or in a food processor. However, manual grating gives a better texture.
- Transfer the grated carrots along with the milk in a deep pan and keep it for boiling.
- When the milk starts boiling, reduce the flame to medium heat and keep cooking. Keep stirring in between and scrap the milk sticking to the sides of the pan and keep adding it to the carrot mixture.
- After 20-25 minutes you will notice that the milk has sufficiently reduced and started curdling. These small lumps are formed because milk is turning to khoya.
- When the milk almost reduces to half, add 5-6 tbsp of clarified butter/ghee and stir.
- After another 10 minutes add 1 1/4 cup of sugar. The mixture will once again liquify once you add sugar. Continue stirring and simmering
- Now add 1 tsp of crushed or powdered cardamom.
- When you notice there is only some milk left, then add the raisins and chopped almonds.
- Keep on stirring till the milk is completely evaporated and the halwa attains a deep orange colour.
- Your Gajar ka Halwa/ Carrot Halwa is ready. Garnish it with slivered almonds and serve warm.