Carrot Halwa – An exotic indian sweet made with freshly grated carrots, ghee and sugar as main ingredients.
Carrot halwa also known as gajar ka halwa or gajrela or gajorer halwa is a popular indian sweet made with freshly grated carrots. One rarely comes across someone who doesn’t fall for this halwa. More so because of its texture, flavor and colour. It has an indescribable texture that just melts in your mouth at first, leaving behind tiny bits of carrots cooked in ghee and sugar. Grating the carrots is time-consuming but I don’t mind devoting efforts for this extremely delicious dessert. If you are running short of time, chopped carrots may be pulsed coarsely to ease the process.
I started adding cloves after tasting carrot halwa in a restaurant at Chennai. The halwa tasted divine with the unique, sharp flavor of cloves. It became a default ingredient of my recipe from then on. Using thick whole milk and cooking over medium heat till it reduces is one of the secrets to make the best halwa. Ghee is very important to make sweets taste exotic and nothing can beat the flavor of homemade ghee. Use homemade ghee and tender, juicy carrots for best results. There are many other easy versions of this recipe. I will be posting them later. This is how I usually make carrot halwa and I hope you get a chance to try this exotic indian sweet. Please spend some time to go through the tips shared under ‘Notes’ section. Happy cooking!
Carrot Halwa Recipe:
Cuisine : Indian
Category : Sweets
Makes : 2 & 3/4 cups (approx.)
Preparation Time : 15 min
Cooking Time : 30 min
1 cup : 240 ml
- 4 cups Grated Carrots (I used 6 large carrots)
- 5 tbsp Ghee
- 2 cups Milk
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 25-30 Cashewnuts
- 2 Cardamom
- 2 Cloves
1. Wash, peel and grate the carrots.
2. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a heavy bottomed pan. Fry the cashews over medium flame, till they become light brown in colour. Remove and set aside.
3. In the same ghee, fry cardamom and cloves for 3-4 seconds. Remove from the pan and pound to make a coarse powder.
4. Add 2 tbsp ghee to the same pan. Add the grated carrots. Keep on frying so that the carrots do not stick to the bottom of the pan. Saute over medium flame, till they start changing colour from orange to yellowish orange.
4. Once the colour of the carrot changes, add milk and increase the flame. Stir often so that the milk does not form a layer on top. Stirring is also essential to prevent the milk from boiling over. Scrape the sides of the pan frequently to remove the food sticking to the sides.
5. Cook till the milk is completely absorbed by the carrots. It takes some time. This reduced milk gives that special taste to the halwa. Reduce the flame now.
6. Add the sugar and mix well. Cook over medium flame now. The sugar will start melting as soon as you add.
7. Add 1 tbsp ghee and keep on stirring.
8. Add the remaining 1 tbsp ghee after a minute and keep on mixing. Carrot halwa hardens a little after cooling. So switch off when the halwa begins to attain halwa consistency. The halwa will attain the right consistency once it cools down.
9. Add the fried cashewnuts, coarsely powdered cloves, cardamom and mix well. A mouth-watering, irresistible and exotic carrot halwa is ready to be served! This can be served warm or cold. Carrot halwa served with a scoop of vanilla icecream tastes even more delicious!