Delicious Gajar ka Halwa Recipe (Carrot Pudding)
Indulge in the rich and aromatic flavors of Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot Pudding), a classic Indian carrot pudding, and the warm, comforting flavors of homemade Gajar ka Halwa tonight. I love the sweet aroma of saffron and cardamom. This recipe is perfect for sweet cravings and special occasions.
Gajar ka Halwa is a popular Indian dessert made from fresh carrots, milk, and sugar.
- 500 grams of fresh carrots, washed, peeled, and grated
- 500 ml full-fat milk
- 1/2 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
- 2-3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, and pistachios)
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
- A pinch of saffron strands (optional)
- Raisins for garnish (optional)
1/ Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan or kadai and add the grated carrots.
2/ Cook the carrots on medium heat, stirring continuously, until they become soft and the raw smell disappears. This may take about 20-30 minutes.
3/ In another pan, heat the milk and let it come to a boil.
4/ Once the carrots are cooked, add the hot milk to the pan with the carrots. Stir well and let it simmer.
5/ The carrots will absorb the milk and become even softer.
6/ When the mixture thickens and the milk has reduced significantly, add the sugar. Stir well.
7/ Continue to cook on low to medium heat until the sugar dissolves, and the mixture thickens to a halwa consistency. This might take another 20-30 minutes.
8/ In a separate small pan, heat the ghee and lightly roast the chopped nuts until they turn golden. Add the saffron strands and cardamom powder to the nuts. Pour this mixture into the carrot halwa and mix well.
9/ Cook for another 5-10 minutes until the halwa reaches the desired consistency. It should be soft and slightly sticky.
10/ Garnish with raisins and more nuts if desired.
11/ Serve hot, warm, or cold, as per your preference.
Enjoy this delightful and aromatic Gajar ka Halwa, a traditional Indian dessert that’s perfect for celebrations or as a sweet treat anytime!
Tips and Tricks for Making a Perfect Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot Pudding)
Choose Fresh and Sweet Carrots: Select fresh, sweet, and juicy carrots for the best flavor. Avoid using fibrous or bitter carrots.
Grate Carrots Finely: Grate the carrots finely to ensure they cook evenly and become soft without any crunchy bits.
Use Full-Fat Milk: Full-fat milk will yield a creamier and richer halwa.
Stir Frequently: Stir the halwa frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan and to ensure even cooking.
Use a Heavy-Bottomed Pan: A heavy-bottomed pan or kadai helps in even cooking and prevents burning.
Roast Nuts in Ghee: Roasting the nuts in ghee before adding them to the halwa enhances their flavor and aroma.
Saffron Infusion: If using saffron, soak a few strands in a tablespoon of warm milk and add it to the halwa for a beautiful color and subtle flavor.
Adjust Sugar to Taste: The sweetness of Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot Pudding) is adjustable. Add sugar gradually and taste as you go to achieve your desired level of sweetness.
Add Cardamom for Flavor: Cardamom powder adds a wonderful aromatic touch. You can also use a pinch of nutmeg or a few drops of rose water for variation.
Patience is Key: The key to a delicious Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot Pudding) is patience. Allow the carrots to cook and absorb the milk and flavors slowly for the best results.
Garnish Creatively: Get creative with your garnishes. In addition to raisins and nuts, you can add edible silver leaf (varak) or grated khoya for a traditional touch.
Reheating: Gajar ka Halwa tastes even better the next day. You can reheat it in a pan or microwave with a little milk to restore its creamy consistency.
Serve Warm or Cold: Gajar ka Halwa can be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled, depending on your preference.
Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can be kept for a few days.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making Gajar ka Halwa
Using the Wrong Carrots: Using the wrong type of carrots, like fibrous or less sweet varieties, can result in a less flavorful halwa. Always choose sweet and fresh carrots.
Inadequate Grating: Grating the carrots too thickly can lead to uneven cooking and a less smooth texture. Grate them finely for the best results.
Insufficient Cooking: Failing to cook the carrots and milk mixture long enough can result in a raw taste and crunchy texture. Be patient and allow the mixture to cook down and thicken properly.
Skipping Roasting Nuts: Roasting nuts in ghee is essential to enhance their flavor and aroma. Skipping this step can make the halwa less aromatic.
Not Stirring Often: Frequent stirring is crucial to prevent the halwa from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. Neglecting this can lead to burnt flavors and a messy cleanup.
Overloading with Sugar: Adding too much sugar at once can make the halwa excessively sweet. Add sugar gradually, tasting as you go, to reach the desired level of sweetness.
Using Low-Fat Milk: Gajar ka Halwa is at its best when made with full-fat milk. Using low-fat milk can result in a less creamy and rich texture.
Not Adjusting Spices: Spice adjustments are key to achieving the right flavor balance. Not adding enough cardamom or using too much can affect the overall taste.
Improper Garnishing: Garnishing plays a vital role in the appearance and flavor of the halwa.
Rushing the Process: Gajar ka Halwa requires patience. Rushing the cooking process can lead to undercooked carrots, a less creamy texture, and insufficient flavor infusion.
Not Reheating Properly: If reheating, do so gently in a pan or microwave with a little milk to restore the creamy consistency. Reheating without milk can make it dry.
Here’s a general approximation for a 100-gram serving of homemade Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot Pudding)
- Calories: Approximately 150-200 calories.
- Fat: Around 6-10 grams of fat, primarily from ghee and nuts.
- Carbohydrates: Approximately 20-25 grams of carbohydrates, primarily from carrots and sugar.
- Protein: About 2-3 grams of protein.
- Sugar: Approximately 10-15 grams of sugar, largely from the added sugar and natural sugars in carrots.
- Fiber: Minimal dietary fiber content.
Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot Pudding) is a delicious but indulgent dessert, so it’s best enjoyed in moderation. If you have specific dietary concerns or are looking for more precise nutritional information, it’s advisable to calculate the nutrition facts based on your exact recipe and ingredients or consult a nutritionist.