Discover how to make the delectable Indian dessert Gajar Halwa Recipe with this easy-to-follow recipe. Grated carrots simmered in milk, sugar, and aromatic spices, garnished with nuts – a delightful sweet treat perfect for any occasion!
Gajar Halwa also known as Carrot Halwa, is a delicious Indian dessert made with grated carrots, milk, sugar, ghee (clarified butter), and nuts.
Here’s a traditional Gajar Halwa Recipe
- 4 cups grated carrots (about 4-5 medium-sized carrots)
- 4 cups full-fat milk
- 1/2 cup sugar (adjust according to your taste)
- 4-5 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
- Chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios) for garnish
- Raisins (optional)
1/ Wash, peel, and grate the carrots using a grater. Keep them aside.
2/ In a heavy-bottomed pan or a kadai, add the grated carrots and milk. Bring it to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
3/ Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low-medium and let the carrots cook in milk. Keep stirring occasionally to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. It will take about 30-40 minutes for the carrots to cook and for the milk to reduce and thicken.
4/ When the carrots have softened and most of the milk has evaporated, add sugar to the mixture. Stir well and cook for another 10-15 minutes on low heat. The sugar will dissolve and the mixture will thicken further.
5/ Add ghee and continue to cook the mixture. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. The ghee will help in giving a nice aroma and richness to the halwa.
6/ Sprinkle cardamom powder over the halwa and mix it well. This adds a delightful fragrance and flavor.
7/ If using, add raisins at this stage and mix them into the halwa.
8/ Cook for a few more minutes until the halwa reaches a thick, pudding-like consistency and the ghee starts to release from the sides of the pan. Turn off the heat.
9/ Garnish the Gajar Halwa with chopped nuts of your choice like almonds, cashews, and pistachios.
Serve the Gajar Halwa warm or cold as per your preference.
Tips and Tricks to Make a Delicious Gajar Halwa
Carrot Selection: Choose fresh, tender, and sweet carrots for the best flavor and color in your halwa.
Grating Carrots: Grate the carrots finely or coarsely based on personal preference. Finely grated carrots cook faster but might not retain the texture, while coarser ones offer a more textured halwa.
Milk: Use full-fat milk for a creamy and rich texture. Cooking the carrots in milk for a longer time enhances the taste.
Sugar: Adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste preferences and the sweetness of the carrots. Remember, as the halwa cooks, the sweetness intensifies, so start with a slightly lesser amount.
Ghee: Use good quality ghee generously for that authentic taste and aroma. Adding it towards the end enriches the halwa.
Spices: Cardamom powder adds a beautiful fragrance to the halwa. You can also include a pinch of saffron strands soaked in warm milk for added flavor and color.
Nuts and Raisins: Garnish with a variety of nuts like almonds, cashews, and pistachios for a crunchy texture. Adding raisins while cooking or as a garnish brings a delightful sweetness.
Consistency: Cook the halwa until it reaches a thick, pudding-like consistency and the ghee starts to ooze from the sides of the mixture.
Stirring: Regularly stir the halwa while cooking to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Storage: Gajar Halwa can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Reheat before serving, and it often tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld together.
The nutritional information for Gajar Halwa can vary based on the specific ingredients used and portion sizes. However, here’s an approximate nutritional breakdown per serving (assuming a standard portion size):
- Calories: Around 300-350 calories per serving (approximately 1 cup)
- Fat: Approximately 15-20 grams, mainly from ghee and nuts
- Carbohydrates: About 40-50 grams, primarily from carrots and sugar
- Protein: Around 5-7 grams, mainly from milk and nuts
- Fiber: Approximately 3-5 grams, mostly from carrots
Please note that these values are estimates and can vary based on the precise quantities and ingredients used in your Gajar Halwa recipe. Additionally, the dessert is relatively high in sugar and fat due to the presence of sugar and ghee, so it’s best enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
(FAQs) About Gajar Halwa Recipe
Can I use pre-shredded carrots for making Gajar Halwa?
It’s preferable to use freshly grated carrots for the best texture and flavor. Pre-shredded carrots might have a different texture and can affect the overall consistency of the halwa.
Can I use low-fat milk for making Gajar Halwa?
Full-fat milk is traditionally used to achieve a rich and creamy texture. While you can use low-fat milk, it might result in a slightly less creamy halwa.
How long does Gajar Halwa stay fresh?
Gajar Halwa can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days when properly stored in an airtight container. Reheat before serving.
Can I freeze Gajar Halwa?
Yes, you can freeze Gajar Halwa. Store it in a freezer-safe container for up to 1-2 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating and serving.
What can I use as a substitute for ghee?
If you prefer, you can use unsalted butter as a substitute for ghee. However, ghee adds a distinct flavor to the halwa that might be different with butter.
How can I make Gajar Halwa vegan?
Substitute dairy milk with any plant-based milk like almond milk, coconut milk, or cashew milk. Replace ghee with a vegan butter or coconut oil.
Can I reduce the sugar content in Gajar Halwa?
Yes, you can adjust the amount of sugar according to your preference or use alternatives like jaggery, honey, or other sweeteners.
Can I add other ingredients like khoya (mawa) to Gajar Halwa?
Absolutely! Adding khoya or condensed milk enhances the richness and taste of the halwa. Add it towards the end of cooking.
Should I cook Gajar Halwa in a non-stick pan or a regular pan?
It’s preferable to use a heavy-bottomed pan or kadai to prevent burning and ensure even cooking.
Is Gajar Halwa served warm or cold?
Gajar Halwa can be enjoyed both warm and cold, according to personal preference. It’s often served warm and tastes delicious when topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.