Carrot halwa, or Gajjar ka halwa, is a wonderful North Indian dessert made with carrots, cardamom, milk and sugar.
It is probably the most popular of all halwa, and is particularly enjoyed in the winter, served warm, or on warmer days with a scoop of ice cream.
The flavours come together beautifully creating an aromatic, rich and creamy dessert with a slightly chewy texture.
This slow-cooked dessert takes only 40 minutes to make and is very rewarding.
For best results, use full cream milk, rather than semi-skimmed.
Heat the milk with crushed cardamoms before straining the seeds away and setting 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. Then half the cardamom flavoured milk is added at a time and simmered till fully reduced. Finally, sugar is added and just a pinch of salt to accentuate the flavours.
Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar according to the sweetness of the carrots and to your taste.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge, and reheat before serving or bring to room temperature to serve with a scoop of ice cream.
To make this carrot halwa vegan, substitute the butter with 2 tablespoons oil or almond butter, and use 3 cups of almond milk.
- 2-3 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 3 cups full cream milk
- 2 smashed cardamoms
- 1/4 sugar
- a pinch of salt
In a small saucepan, add the milk and cardamom and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, strain to remove the cardamom and set aside.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the carrots. Stir and cook over a low heat till softened (approx. 7 minutes). Add half the milk, stirring occasionally till reduced before pouring in the remaining milk. Gently simmer till there is no liquid left. Stir in the sugar and salt and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve warm or cold.