Gajar ka Halwa | Carrot Halwa
Updated: Jun 13
Gajar Halwa is an extremely popular Indian dessert / sweet. Served during special occasions, parties and festivities, especially during winters, this heart-warming sweet dish is loved by so many. And making Carrot Halwa is really easy too, it only involves a few steps.
This Indian carrot pudding recipe is made using homemade mawa / khoya that enhances its flavour even further making it all the more delightful. It uses only a few ingredients, normally available at home, and what you get in the end is a delicious dessert that you just can’t have enough of….
Quick, easy to follow video with step-by-step instructions of How to make Gajar ka Halwa with Khoya:
Making Instant Mawa / Khoya at Home
Adding Mawa / Khoya to Carrot Halwa makes it rich and delicious. If you do not add Mawa, you will have to add a lot more milk instead and then reduce it down, which will increase the time and effort you spent on making Gajar ka Halwa. Plus, it won’t taste the same as the one made with Khoya. So, adding Mawa / Khoya to this Halwa is a great option helping you save time and energy, plus making it all the more luscious.
You can also use condensed milk to make Gajar Halwa to speed things up, but I like the taste and texture of Khoya more, hence have made this recipe with Mawa / Khoya.
But sometimes you don’t have Mawa at home or maybe you’re unable to buy fresh, good quality mawa where you live, so making it instantly at home is a very good option. It only needs some milk and milk powder and is ready in no time at all. But make sure to use full cream whole milk powder and milk at room temperature, as in cold milk, milk powder won’t dissolve well and in hot milk it might form lumps. Also, always use a non-stick pan to make Khoya / Mawa as it tends to stick a lot to the pan.
Frying and Sautéing
Frying cashew nuts and raisins slightly in a bit of ghee / clarified butter will make nuts crunchy and give a better taste. You can also add some halved almonds if you like to this halwa.
Sauté carrots for 5 mins before you add milk. Keep stirring the carrot and milk mixture till milk reduces down quite a bit.
Sugar at right time
Add sugar only after milk has reduced down. Adding sugar earlier will mean that it will get cooked for longer than necessary and might not taste good. After adding sugar, it will start melting and mixture will again turn liquidy. Keep cooking whilst stirring till Gajar Ka Halwa starts to thicken. It’s important to reduce the heat down at this point or there is a risk of burning the halwa.
Finishing it off
Carrot Halwa is almost done after liquid from carrots, milk and sugar mixture evaporates. You just need to add Mawa, green cardamom powder and fried nuts and raisins.
Make sure to crumble Mawa / Khoya with your fingers before adding to Gajar Halwa, as while its cooling down it tends to form a large mass. Crumbling with fingers converts it into large and small pieces which adds a great texture to Gajar ka Halwa.
Green cardamom powder should always be added towards the end to any sweet dish you are preparing as it tends to lose its flavour if heated for long. Also, fried nuts will lose their crunchiness if added earlier.
Ghee in the end makes a difference
Now adding ghee / clarified at the end will enhance this Carrot Halwa’s flavour much further. You can add all the ghee in the start and then cook carrots with milk and sugar, but believe me when I say this, it won’t be as flavourful as adding ghee towards the end.
After checking the recipe / video, you might feel that there’s a lot of ghee in the recipe – well YES there is! You can reduce it down and use the amount you are comfortable with if you are health conscious or on a diet. But if you are making this Gajar ka Halwa with Khoya recipe for a special occasion or a party or to treat someone special, then stick to the recipe and use the amount of ghee mentioned, it will take this sweet dish / dessert to a whole new level!
Garnishing and Serving
Garnish this Gajrela with some slivered pistachios and almonds which will add a bit more colour and top with some fried cashew nuts and raisins. Preferably serve Carrot Halwa warm, some like it cold. But I feel that after its cooled in a refrigerator, ghee solidifies and doesn’t taste good, also its flavour reduces down.
But however you choose to eat this Gajar Halwa, hot or cold, I am sure you will relish it 😊
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Step-by-step instructions with photos:
In a bowl add ⅓ cup whole milk at room temperature and milk powder and mix well making sure there are no lumps.
Heat a non-stick pan on low setting and add clarified butter and milk and milk powder mixture.
Keep mixing and stirring constantly till mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan and starts holding shape.
Remove this mawa in a bowl, spread it over and let it cool down.
Heat a non-stick pan on low setting and add clarified butter. Add cashew nuts and fry till golden. Keep them aside.
Add raisins and fry until they puff up. Keep them aside.
Now add carrots and cook for 5 mins.
Then add milk and cook whilst stirring till milk reduces.
Then add sugar and cook till liquid evaporates. Reduce the heat to low as gajar halwa starts thickening.
Crumble the mawa with your fingers into small pieces and add to gajar halwa. Mix well.
Now add green cardamom powder and fried cashew nuts and raisins (leave some for garnishing later).
Add clarified butter and cook till moisture evaporates.
Delicious Gajar ka Halwa is ready! Serve warm garnishing with some slivered pistachios, almonds and fried cashew nuts and raisins.
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