Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa)

I haven’t met anybody who doesn’t love a good Gajar ka halwa. Perfectly cooked, not mushy and overcooked carrots that are sweet, yet not overly sweet and is roasted enough to make it sticky and hold shape. And pair that with some vanilla ice cream, match made in Heaven!!

Like any other Indian sweet, this too does take some time to make. Halwa makes with a kilo of Carrots will take you anywhere from 45- 60 minutes. Well, yes, you can use quick-fix methods, use pressure cookers and other instant ingredients, but nothing tastes as good as the traditional carrot halwa.

The method is fairly simple. It just required some time. First, grate the carrots with the thicker end. Saute it in a pan, on low heat for 15 minutes. It will soften and become very aromatic. The pic below doesn’t show the difference, but the quantity will reduce a little bit and the orange will become more vibrant. 15 minutes of cooking will do the job.

At this point, add the sugar. Cook for another 10- 15 minutes. You can cook with the lid on, stirring occasionally, making sure the sugar doesn’t caramelize and burn. The carrots will release its water and mix with the sugar to make a thick syrup.

Once the water from the carrots and the sugar disappears, leaving behind a sticky carrot mixture, add the milk. Cook for another 10 minutes, with the lid on, stirring occasionally.

Once the milk is not visible in the carrot mix and ghee. Let it cook for 5 minutes. Stirring more often this time.

While that is happening, chop some almonds and put in in a small pan, roast on low flame to get it golden and toasted. You can use a little ghee for the same.

Add the nuts and some cardamom powder, stir constantly for 5-10 minutes. Once it has caramelized to your desired level, you are done. I usually prefer cooking it till it just starts to leave behind brown streaks of caramelization in the pan (10 minutes on medium flame, stirring constantly). If you are using a nonstick pan, you will not be able to use this method, instead, you can taste a small amount and see if you are happy with the chewiness of the halwa.

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Recipe:
Carrot- 700 gms
Sugar- 250 gms
Milk- 250 ml
Ghee- 1/8th cup
Cardamom powder- 1/4 tsp
Almonds- 20- 30, chopped

  1. In a kadhai, add the grated carrots and saute on low heat for 15 minutes.
    After 15 minutes, add the sugar and mix well. With the lid on, cook for 10-15 minutes, till the carrots release water, and the water evaporates leaving behind a sticky carrot mixture. Stir occasionally.
  2. Add milk and cook for another 10 minutes on low flame, with the lid on. Stir every once in a while to avoid any burning.
  3. Once the milk is not visible in the carrot mix add ghee. Let it cook for 5 minutes. Stirring more often this time.
  4. Chop some almonds and put in in a small pan, roast on low flame to get it golden and toasted. You can use a little ghee for the same.
  5. Add this to the carrot and stir constantly for 5-10 minutes to caramelize the mixture.
  6. Serve warm or cold with vanilla ice cream.

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