Rich, creamy, and authentic gajar ka halwa recipe popular as carrot halwa is the most comforting and satisfying winter dessert from India and Pakistan. Prepared with 5 ingredients and best to make with khoya and milk.
I love winter to make this homemade Gajar ka Halwa recipe. Grating the seasonal carrots to simmer in milk and then frying with clarified butter with the flavor of cardamom and topped with nuts makes the perfect flavor to enjoy the chilled vibes with a warm halwa bowl in a cozy room.
The vibrating orange/red color homemade carrot halwa is the best Pakistani and Indian dessert that people eagerly eat and share with family. Let's delve, how to make carrot halwa recipe with khoya, and milk.
- What is Gajar Ka Halwa?
- Why Do I Love This Recipe
- Ingredients & Substitutions
- How to Make Gajar Halwa
- Watch Carrot Halwa Recipe
- Instant Pot Carrot Halwa
- Gajar ka Halwa with Milk Powder
- Gajar Halwa With Khoya
- Gajar Halwa With Condensed Milk
- Vegan Carrot Halwa
- Easy Tips
- How to Store & Reheat
- How to Serve Gajar Halwa
- Q & A
- More Sweet Ideas
- Gajar Ka Halwa Recipe (Carrot Halwa)
Making traditional 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.
What is Gajar Ka Halwa?
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 North Indian sweet recipe that people serve on special occasions, wedding menu, buffet and family get together. This sweet carrot dessert dish is also popular as gajorer halua, gajrela and carrot halwa. The rich, 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 shahi 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 to use the red carrots for halwa? 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.
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 traditional and authentic gajar halwa.
Why Do I Love This Recipe
It's simple and easy and anyone can make at home on stovetop using minimal ingredients. Only requirement is fresh and seasonal red carrots that makes the perfect taste of halwa. It is the healthy-ish dessert recipe with carrots that you can easily prepare and store in refrigerator to enjoy for a week.
My attachment with carrot halwa is full of reminiscences as my mother used to make homemade gajar halwa in a big pan and then pack it in a small pot wrapping with red gauze and ribbon to distribute it to family and friends. It's a gesture to welcome welcome winter season in Pakistan. I do the same to extend the legacy. I hope, many of you will relate this...
SEE Also: Gajrela Recipe
Ingredients & Substitutions
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 Gajar Halwa
Step 1: Peel and Grate The Carrots
Use red carrots and peel off the upper skin. Now rinse properly and grate the carrots with a hand/electric grater or shredder.
[Tip]:Don't use a masher or any other tool.
Step 2: Simmer Carrots
Shift the grated carrots in a big nonstick pan and add milk. Cover with a lid and simmer for 2 hours at slow heat.
After 2 hours, check the carrots and evaporate the excess milk at high heat. Keep stirring.
[Tip]: Use nonstick pan and keep checking in middle to avoid burning the carrots on stovetop.
Step 3: Roasting
In a heated pan, add 2 tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter). Add green cardamom seeds and let them pop for a few seconds.
Now add cooked carrots and sauté for a few minutes. Roast the carrots for a few minutes. It will release water but keep stirring and roasting until it stops to release water.
Add ½ cup sugar and roast again to caramelize the sugar with carrots.
Step 4: Roasting with Khoya
Now add khoya and give it a good mix. Keep stirring to mix and make sure to blend the khoya with carrots.
Step 5: Serving/Garnishing
Garnish with sliced cut roasted almonds. Give it a good mix.
Set the halwa on a serving platter and topped with khoya and sliced almonds or other nuts of choice.
Watch Carrot Halwa Recipe
Other ways to Make Carrot Halwa
If you want to make it quick then try in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. As life is getting fast, it's incredibly easy to make carrot halwa in an instant pot takes less time compared to stovetop cooking.
Instant Pot Carrot Halwa
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!
Gajar ka Halwa with Milk Powder
Don't worry! if you don't have khoya. Use milk powder and it will be the best substitute to add a rich and creamy taste of gajar halwa. Use the same recipe and in the place of khoya, use milk powder. That's it! rest will remain the same.
Gajar Halwa With Khoya
I always love to make gajar halwa with khoya as it makes a super taste same as you eat at traditional places of Pakistan and India. My mother used to make the halwa in same way so I followed as I loved the taste.
Gajar Halwa With Condensed Milk
It will be super creamy and taste like pudding, if you make gajar halwa with condensed milk. Make sure to check on sugar as condensed milk is already sweetened in taste. It's best to have a look at gajrela recipe.
Vegan Carrot Halwa
To make it vegan friendly, replace the milk with plant based option. Best is to use the almond milk. To add the creamy texture, use vegan sweetened condensed milk.
- Use fresh and seasonal 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.
- Don't use orange carrots to make this halwa.
- Keep stirring!! best tip to make perfect halwa taste.
How to Store & Reheat
Shelf Life: 8 to 12 hour at room temperature below 25C
Store in refrigerator for 1 week in an airtight container. Don't store for long time!
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.
Reheat on Stove Top: Use the nonstick pan and splash it with little milk and heat it up. Add refrigerated halwa and mix it well. Cover for 5 minutes on extremely low heat. After 5 minutes as it become steamy then roast it on medium temperature and keep stirring with the help of spatula. Top with roasted nuts and serve!
How to Serve Gajar Halwa
Many people also ask about hot and cold serving of gajar halwa.
Normally gajar halwa serve as hot or warm. It depends upon your choice to eat as cold but traditionally people serve as hot or at room temperature.
Another idea is to serve with ice cream that makes the perfect combo. Vanilla is the best flavor to pair up with warm halwa. Let me know if you try this option.
A simple serving topped with nuts and khoya is the most common.
Q & A
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.
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.
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.
You can use milk powder, condensed milk, and simply full-fat milk.
Use jaggery or date paste to avoid carrots.
Explore More Halwa Recipes
More Sweet Ideas
Gajar Ka Halwa Recipe (Carrot Halwa)
- 500 g Red Carrots Finely grated
- ½ Liter Milk Full Fat
- ½ cup White Granulated Sugar Manage upto taste
- ½ cup Khoya
- 2 tablespoon Ghee
- 2 tablespoon Almonds Finely sliced
- Wash, peel, and finely grate the carrots using a hand/electric grater or shredder.
- Shift the grated carrots in a big nonstick pan and add milk. Cover with a lid and simmer for 2 hours at slow heat.
- After 2 hours, check the carrots and evaporate the excess milk at high heat. Keep stirring.
- In a heated pan, add 2 tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter). Add green cardamom seeds and let them pop for a few seconds.
- Now add cooked carrots and sauté for a few minutes.
- Roast the carrots for a few minutes. It will release water but keep stirring and roasting until it stops to release water.
- Add ½ cup sugar and roast again to caramelize the sugar with carrots.
- Now add khoya and give it a good mix. Keep stirring!
- Garnish with sliced cut roasted almonds. Give it a good mix.
- Set the halwa in serving platter and topped with khoya and sliced almonds or other nuts of choice.
- 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.