Making Halwai style gajar ka halwa with khoya and milk. Famous as Carrot Halwa and one of the most popular winter dessert recipe of India and Pakistan.
Gajar means carrot and Halwa is basically a form of sweet dish that is prepared with ghee (clarified butter, cardamom, milk, khoya, and nuts.
Gajar ka halwa is a famous Pakistani and Indian sweet recipe that people serve on special occasions. This sweet carrot dessert dish is also popular as gajorer halua, gajrela and carrot halwa. The creamy and sweet carrot flavor gives a perfect bite. It’s a winter sweet recipe as desi-style red carrots are seasonal.
I used Pakistani red carrots to make this royal-style gajar ka halwa. Red carrots are also called desi gajar that you can easily find in an Asian supermarket in UK. It’s difficult to find red carrots in America but you can check from Pakistani and Indian stores.
Why Red Carrots?
Red carrots have a special sugary taste that makes them distinguished among other carrots and perfectly suited to make desserts. It has deep red or pale red color due to the compound called Lycopene.
Why I Love This It?
As the winter comes, My mother used to make this gajar ka halwa in a big dish to distribute to family and friends. A deep bowl, filled with gajar halwa, topped with nuts, and wrapped in a net gauze with ribbons and fresh flowers still give me a dreamy vibe to get the same.
Normally, gajar ka halwa takes a long time to prepare as it needs to peel and grate the carrots then simmer in milk to make it soft and creamy in look. Then the main process of roasting comes up that gives a special taste to this halwa. Overall, it takes a day to prepare and cook.
If you want to make quickly then try in a pressure cooker or Instant pot. As life is getting fast, so I love to make carrot halwa in an instant pot which is easy and takes less time as compared to stovetop cooking.
- Use fresh carrots! As it has special sweetness to prepare this halwa.
- Finely grate carrots. Use grater to grate the carrots. Don’t use masher or any other devise to grate the carrots.
- Always boil grated carrots in milk rather water.
- Cook halwa on high temperature until it starts showing ghee on pan surface.
- Gajar halwa with khoya gives you a great result in terms of color and taste.
Follow the step-by-step recipe video of "Gajar Ka Halwa". It will help you to get quick directions.
Carrots: If you want to make desi style gajar ka halwa then use desi red gajar. If you are living outside India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Nepal then find it in nearby Indian or Pakistani stores. As it’s seasonal, so check it during the season.
If you don’t have red carrots then don’t make it! I am telling you in advance as it will take your time without giving a taste.
Clarified Butter (Ghee) If you are making classical style gajar ka halwa then make it with desi ghee. It will give you halwai style taste. If you don’t like desi ghee then simply use clarified butter or ghee.
Milk I used full fat cow milk as it gives a creamy taste and texture once the carrots simmer in milk.
Green Cardamom I have used green cardamom with seeds but you can also use green cardamom powder. It will amazingly enhance the taste with a special aroma.
Sugar Use white granulated sugar. You can also use brown sugar but it will change the color of halwa. To get the halwai style carrot halwa, I will recommend using white sugar.
Khoya/Mawa It will add the creamy and milky texture in carrots and enhance the flavor. I love to add khoya! If you don’t have then add milk powder or simply prepared with condensed milk.
Nuts (Almonds & Pistachios) It all depends upon your choices to add nuts in halwa but I love to add sliced almonds and crushed pistachios. You can also add raisins, walnut, cashews, and desiccated coconut as per your choice.
How to Make
Step 1: Grate The Carrots
Use red carrots and peel off the upper skin. Now rinse properly and grate the carrots with a hand grater. Don't use a masher or any other tool.
STEP 2: Carrots Roasting
In a pan, add Ghee and heat it up. As the ghee is heated add cardamom powder and pops it up. Add grated carrots to the pan and saute for a few minutes. As the carrots started changing color add milk.
STEP 3: Simmering
Give it a good mix and cover for 30 minutes to cook carrots with milk. After 30 minutes, the milk will be absorbed in carrots. At this stage, saute carrots and add sugar.
STEP 4: Roasting With Khoya & Nuts
Stir again and add khoya/mawa and dry fruits. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until the ghee separates from carrots.
Now dish it out and garnish with nuts and khoya.
Happy watching and Have a happy eating time.
Store & Serve
Many people also ask about hot and cold serving. Normally gajar halwa serve as hot or warm. It depends upon your choice to eat as cold but traditionally people serve as hot.
One more query that people ask; do we store gajar halwa?
Yes, you can store for 1 week in the refrigerator but avoid to store for long. If you want to store for 15 days then pack it in airtight container and place in freezer. Once you need, take out and microwave for 4 to 5 minutes before serving.
Why does carrot halwa turn black?
Always use fresh carrots and never overcook or fry the carrots for too long otherwise the halwa turned dark in color. Make sure to simmer in milk as it will help to retain the color. The addition of khoya will improve the presentation of halwa and also make it delicious. I love to make halwa with khoya and milk.
What to do if Gajar halwa turned black?
Add milk and cook it on low heat until the carrot starts to absorb milk. Now add khoya and mix well. Don’t overcook! In this way, it will improve the color and taste.
May I make Gajar ka halwa in oil?
Yes, you can! But don’t use olive oil as it has a strong flavor that totally messes up the taste. I am telling you from my experience as once I tried! You can use canola, sunflower, or vegetable oil. If you want you can also use unsalted butter.
What to use in place of khoya/mawa?
You can use milk powder, condensed milk, and simply full-fat milk.
Instant Pot Carrot Halwa
How to Make Carrot Halwa in Instant Pot?
In an instant pot, click on saute button. Add ghee and add green cardamom seeds. As it starts to pop then add grated carrots and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add milk and cover the pot. Click on the pressure button and seal the pressure valve and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes, naturally, release the pressure and move the position of the pressure valve from sealing to vent.
Now mix well, and click the saute again and add sugar, khoya, and nuts. Give it a good mix for about 5 to 6 minutes until the carrots start to separate from the oil. Garnish with dry nuts and khoya. Hot and delicious Instant pot gajar halwa is ready to serve!
You can let me know in case of any questions related to recipes.
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Gajar Ka Halwa Recipe (Carrot Halwa) With Khoya
- 1 kg Carrots Finely Grate
- 500 ml Milk Full Fat
- 1 cup White Sugar Granulated
- ½ cup Khoya
- 2 tbsp Ghee
- 2 tsp Almonds Finely sliced
- 2 tsp Pistachios Finely sliced
- Grate Carrots.
- In a pan, add Ghee and heat it up.
- As the ghee heated add cardamom powder and pop it up.
- Add grated carrots in pan and saute for few minutes.
- As the carrots started changing colour add milk in it.
- Cover for 30 minutes to cook carrots with milk.
- After 30 minutes, saute carrot and add sugar.
- Stir again and add khoya and dry fruits.
- Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until the ghee separated from carrots.
- Then dish it out and garnish with dry fruits.
- Always use red carrots. Peel off the upper skin of carrots and then wash properly with tap water to remove dirt.
- Use a hand grater to finely grate the carrots.
- Make sure to boil grated carrots in milk rather than water.
- Cook halwa at high temperature until it starts showing ghee on the pan surface.
- Gajar halwa with khoya gives you a great result in terms of color and taste.
- Use a thick iron skillet to make the halwa. Avoid steel and Aluminium utensils.
- Double or triple the quantity if you want to make it in bulk.