Carrot halwa (Gajjar ka halwa), is a wonderful lightly spiced North Indian dessert, made with carrots, spices, milk and sugar.
Impress your guests with this wonderfully rich and fragrant spiced carrot dessert which is popular throughout India.
It is probably the most popular of all halwas. In winter it is served warm, or on warmer days with a scoop of ice cream.
It is slow cooked over a low flame and takes roughly 40 minutes to make.
The flavours come together beautifully creating an aromatic, rich and creamy dessert with a slightly chewy texture.
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- For best results, use full cream (whole) milk, rather than semi-skimmed.
- Heat the milk with crushed cardamoms, then strain the seeds away and set the milk aside. The aroma is wonderful – similar to that of kheer (Indian rice-pudding).
- To make the halwa, use a large heavy iron skillet as it holds the heat well on a low flame.
- The carrots are cooked in butter till softened, not browned. As they cook, they begin to caramelize, with a richer more intense flavour.
- Adjust the amount of sugar according to the sweetness of the carrots and to taste.
- Add half the cardamom flavoured milk, sugar, cinnamon, clove, saffron water and salt and simmer till the liquid has reduced by half. The salt helps accentuate the flavours.
- Next, add the rest of the milk and reduce again till you have a rice pudding consistency (not too dry).
- Stir in the crème fraîche and reduce again, till it is no longer runny.
To make it vegan
Use a vegetable oil, and substitute milk with 3 cups of almond milk.
Reheat before serving or bring to room temperature and serve with a scoop of ice cream.
It will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Defrost in the fridge overnight, and warm before serving.
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- a pinch saffron strands
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
- 3 cups carrots grated
- 3 cups milk whole
- 2 cardamoms crushed
- ¼ cup sugar
- a pinch cinnamon powder
- 1 clove crushed
- a pinch salt
- ½ cup crème fraîche or cream
- a pinch saffron strands, 2 tablespoons waterCrush and soak the saffron in 2 tablespoons of water for 20 minutes.
- 3 cups milk, 2 cardamomsIn a small saucepan, heat the milk and cardamom pods. Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat, remove the crushed cardamom pods and set aside.
- 2 tablespoons gheeIn a large skillet, melt the ghee/butter and add the carrots. Stir and cook over a low heat till softened (approx. 7 minutes).
- ¼ cup sugar, a pinch cinnamon, 1 clove, a pinch saltPour in half the milk, then add sugar, the saffron and its water, cinnamon, crushed clove and salt, stirring occasionally till the liquid has reduced by half.
- Add the remaining milk and gently simmer till there is no liquid left.
- ½ cup crème fraîcheStir in the crème fraîche and reduce till the halwa is no longer runny. Serve warm or cold.
The ingredients here on EOTF are set out in grams & milliliters and in US cups & spoons.
This sounds like a great fall dessert….almost like a carrot custard. I would even eat this for breakfast if I had this sitting in my fridge.
I’m a huge fan of Indian desserts – Cardamom is one of my favorite spices. This sounds like the perfect dish as the weather gets colder.
Absolutely gorgeous! This is one of my favourite childhood desserts and I just love how yours looks – sooo beautifully creamy!
Thanks so much Azlin