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. 😛 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. 😉
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 – Gajar Halwa
Adapted from Cooking with Asian Roots and Mastering the Art of Indian Cooking
1 1/2 tablespoons ghee
4 medium carrots, grated
pinch of ground cardamom, soaked in 5 tablespoon warm 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.