Dessert, Indian

Carrot Halwa – Gajar Halwa

Carrot halwa or gajar halwa (gajrela) is a sweet dish from Punjab, India. Halwa means sweets or candy in Arabic while carrot is called gajar in Gujarati. Now don’t ask me how these 2 words come together for I’m lost. ๐Ÿ˜› Like carrot kheer, this dessert is served at special occasion like birthdays, Deepavali and weddings. I make carrot halwa because I’m curious whether it will taste anything like carrot kheer. And also to find a reason to use my newly bought precious = saffron. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Carrot Halwa
Carrot halwa.

Saffron In Milk
First thing first, soak some saffron in warm milk.

Clockwise from right: grated carrot, toasted almonds (sliced), ground cardamom, ghee, saffron in milk and milk.

Add Ghee
In a heavy pan over medium heat, add ghee. When small bubbles appear from the melted ghee, add carrot.

Cook Carrot Over Medium Heat
Saute for 10 minutes or until carrots are soft. Then add sugar and cook for 1 minute. Add cardamom and stir well.

Cook Until Form Clumps
Next add milk and stir well. Cook for about 12 minutes or until mixture is thick/forms moist clumps in low heat. Lastly add toasted almonds and serve hot or at room temperature.

Carrot Halwa
This sweet dessert gives off a ‘homely’ savory feeling when it’s warm. Must be due to the addition of saffron. I personally love it when it’s warm. On whether it taste anything like carrot kheer? Yes it does. Thing is I actually crave for carrot kheer.

Carrot Halwa โ€“ Gajar Halwa
Adapted from Cooking with Asian Roots and Mastering the Art of Indian Cooking
Serves 4

1 1/2 tablespoons ghee
4 medium carrots, grated
55g sugar
pinch of ground cardamom, soaked in 5 tablespoon warm milk
200ml milk
generous pinch of saffron threads
5-6 toasted almonds (or pistachios or cashews), sliced
6-8 raisins (optional)

1. Put ghee into a nonstick heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. When small bubbles appear at the bottom of pan, add carrots and saute for 10 minutes or until carrots are soft.

2. Add sugar and cook for 1 minute more. Then add cardamom and stir well.

3. Add milk and stir well. Lower heat to low and cook for 12 minutes or until the mixture is thick/forms moist clumps.

4. Sprinkle toasted almonds and serve hot or at room temperature.

Happy cooking!

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  • Reply Irina @ wandercrush June 14, 2013 at 9:12 am

    I LOVE halwa! I have such good memories associated with itโ€”I used to get lunch from the Hare Krishna group on campus at university…dessert was always a variation of delicious halwa ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for this recipe!

    • Reply Che-Cheh June 14, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      Hi Irina, thanks for sharing your story. ๐Ÿ™‚

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