Gajar Ka Halwa

‘Gajar Ka Halwa’ also known as ‘Gajrela’ is one of the most popular winter desserts, originating in North India and Pakistan. This traditional dish was introduced during the Mughal era wherein the word ‘halwa’ means sweet and off course ‘gajar’ is carrot. So we have ‘gajar ka halwa’ which basically a delightful and creamy pudding made with carrots, milk, sugar and ghee (clarified butter). The original recipe had only carrot and milk as the main ingredients. However over the years, many regional variations of the same have come up taking up the taste quotient a notch higher. Traditionally this dish is prepared by cooking grated carrots with milk in a pan till the carrots are fully done and milk is completely reduced and then adding the rest of the ingredients to it. This when done in a pan, is a slightly time consuming procedure. So various other less time-taking methods have also come up.

Whichever way we make it, if the ingredients are in adequate proportion, the halwa is always superbly delicious. Here today I am sharing the traditional method but will use khoya/evaporated milk also to give it some extra richness. However without khoya also we can continue with this same recipe. Serve delicious gajar ka halwa warm, chilled or at room temperature.

 

- SOME HELPFUL TIPS - 

>  Gajar ka halwa can be served warm or chilled.
> If kept in the refrigerator, the halwa stays good for 3-4 days.
> When cooking the halwa in a pan, care should be taken that it is a heavy bottomed pan. Non-stick vessel is a good option.
> Use of saffron strands in the dish is absolutely optional. Even without saffron it tastes great.

 

Gajar Ka Halwa Recipe

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 - 45 minutes
Yield: 5 - 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Carrots: 1 kg
  • Milk: 750 ml
  • Unsweetened Khoya/ Mawa: 100 grams (optional)
  • Sugar: 200 grams
  • Ghee (Clarified Butter): 3 tablespoon
  • Green Cardamom Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Cashew Nuts: 1 tablespoon
  • Chopped Almonds: 1 tablespoon
  • Raisins: 1 tablespoon
  • Chopped Almonds and Pistachios: For garnish
  • Saffron: A few strands (optional)

 

Method

  1. Wash, peel and grate the carrots. Dissolve saffron strands in 2 tablespoon warm milk (optional).
  2. Heat two tablespoon ghee in a heavy bottomed pan. Add grated carrots and sauté till the raw smell of the carrot is reduced and quantity of carrot comes down.
  3. Add the milk, mix well, cover and cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
  4. As milk evaporates considerably and the carrot is partially cooked, add saffron infused milk, nuts and raisins. Cover and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
  5. As the carrot mix thickens, add sugar and khoya. Mix well and cook further stirring continuously till the halwa attains a creamy and slightly sticky consistency.
  6. Now add the remaining 1 tablespoon ghee and cardamom powder. Stir well; the gajar/carrot halwa is done.
  7. Sprinkle slivered almonds and pistachios. Switch off the heat.
  8. Serve-delicious gajar ka halwa warm or chilled.