My carrot halwa recipe shares the traditional way of making delicious gajar ka halwa without any modifications or shortcuts. But I also share the preparation of this rich carrot halwa with khoya, milkmaid and in the Instant Pot in this article.
About this recipe
During the winters, I often make gajar ka halwa. It is a popular sweet made in northern India during winters. By the way, in the Punjabi language we call it as gajrela.
This conventional carrot halwa recipe is made only with ghee, sugar and whole milk. You don’t need condensed milk or khoya (dry extract of evaporated milk).
We usually use Delhi red carrots to make the halwa because they are juicy and tender. Occasionally, I also make this halwa with orange carrots.
You can use any carrot like black, orange or red. But just make sure that they are not fibrous, stringy, and tough.
How to prepare the carrot halwa
1. First, peel 650 grams of carrots (6-7 long carrots or 8-9 medium-sized tender juicy carrots).
2. Then grate the carrots in a food processor or with a hand grater. You will need about 4 to 4.5 cups of carrots (grated).
Cook the carrots
3. Add all the grated carrots in a thick kadai.
4. Pour in 4 cups of whole milk. Light the burner.
5. Combine the grated carrots and the milk.
6. Over low to medium heat, cook this mixture. The milk will start to froth after a few minutes and then slowly and slowly reduce.
7. Keep stirring this halwa mixture often. Scrape the sides of the kadai continuously to remove the solids from the evaporated milk.
Add the milk solids to the cooking mixture. simmer the carrots in the milk and stir at intervals, so that the milk does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
8. Cook the mixture of carrot and milk until the 75% of milk is reduced.
Making carrot halwa
9. Then add 4 tbsp of ghee (clarified butter). Note that when you add the ghee some milk will be there.
10. Mix very well.
11. Then add 10 to 12 tbsps of sugar or as needed.
12. Add the cardamom powder – 5 to 6 finely powdered green cardamom or about ½ to 1 teaspoon of powdered cardamom.
13. Mix very well.
14. Continue to simmer over low heat. Stir often.
15. Simmer the halwa mixture until it begins to thicken and reduce further. Stir at intervals.
16. When the halwa has reduced to great extent and you see a little milk, then add the dried fruits and nuts.
You can add dried fruits and nuts as per your choice. I added 2 tablespoons of golden raisins, 12 almonds and 12 cashews.
Chop the nuts before adding. Raisins can be kept whole. If you are using saffron, you can add now.
17. Mix again and continue to stir on low flame.
18. Simmer until all the halwa mixture becomes dry. The milk should evaporate completely and in the carrot halwa, you will see fine milk solids.
You will also see ghee releasing from the sides of the kadai. Remember to scrape the milk solids stuck to the sides of the kadai or pan and add them to the gajar halwa. A little humidity is also very good in the halwa.
Serve the gajar ka halwa hot or warm. Refrigerate leftovers and you can reheat the halwa while serving. While serving, garnish with a few chopped dried fruits.
Also Read: Besan Ladoo Recipe
- Carrot halwa is served hot or warm in the cold winters of northern India.
- If you prefer you can even cool the gajar halwa. Some people like to be cold or at room temperature and some people like to have hot or lukewarm carrot halwa. It’s just a personal preference.
- A combination of carrot halwa with vanilla ice cream is served in some restaurants and this combination tastes superb.
- Refrigerator: You can refrigerate the halwa in the refrigerator. It stays fine for about 10 to 12 days but will recover quickly. You can simply reheat the halwa when ready to serve.
- Freezer: Large quantities of halwa carrots can be prepared and stored. Gajar halwa stays well in the freezer for about a month.
- Carrots: It is important to buy carrots that are tender and juicy so that they are easy to grate. To make this halwa, a bit of arm work is required as you need to grate the carrots first, then slowly cook them on the stove and keep stirring them at regular intervals. Add carrots with a fresh, juicy, tender and sweet taste.
- Grate or Grate: You can grate or shred carrots. Carrots can be grated using a hand grater or a box grater and food processor. Obviously, a food processor makes it easier to grate carrots.
- Best pot for making a carrot halwa: To make the halwa, I suggest using a heavy kadai of iron. Carrot halwa is simmered and stirred often. So that it does not get burned, a really good and heavy kadai makes the job easier. You can also use a non-stick kadai or a heavy-bottomed skillet or skillet.
- Scaling: You can easily halve, double, or triple this carrot halwa recipe.
How to make carrot halwa with Milkmaid
To make carrot halwa with dairy or condensed milk, follow these steps:
- Melt 6 tablespoons of ghee in a thick kadai or a heavy-bottomed skillet or skillet. Add 9 cups of tightly packed grated carrots. Sauté carrots until tender and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes over low heat.
- Pour an entire can or can of dairy or sweetened condensed milk (400 grams).
- Mix well and add 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of cardamom powder, ⅓ cup of cashews and ⅓ cup of raisins.
- Mix well and simmer the gajar ka halwa over low heat. Stir often at intervals until the mixture dries, reduces and thickens. Serve the carrot halwa hot or warm or cool.
How to make Gajar Halwa with Khoya
It is very easy to make carrot halwa with khoya or mawa. Follow these steps to prepare gajar ka halwa in 45 minutes.
- Heat 6 tablespoons of ghee in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or kadai.
- Add 9 cups of tightly packed grated carrots.
- Over low heat, sauté the carrots in ghee, stirring often, until they become tender and cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of crumbled or grated khoya (mawa or dry extract of evaporated milk).
- Mix well then add 1 to 1.25 cups of sugar. Combine and mix well. Adjust the amount of sugar according to the sweetness of your khoya. Add 1 cup of sugar if your khoya is sweet.
- You will see that the khoya and the sugar will melt. Now add ⅓ cup of cashews, ⅓ cup of golden raisins, 1 tablespoon of pistachios (chopped) and 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of cardamom powder.
- Mix again and stirring often, bring the gajar halwa to a simmer over low heat. The halwa will begin to thicken, shrink, and leave the edges of the pan. When you see these signs, turn off the heat. Sere gajar ka halwa made from warm or chilled khoya.
Instant Pot Gajar Halwa
In the Instant Pot it is so easy to make gajar halwa that you don’t have to spend time stirring the halwa frequently. It saves a lot of time. Follow my easy steps to make instant gajar halwa
- Take 4 to 4.5 cups of grated carrots, 1.5 cups of whole milk, ½ cup of sugar, 4 tablespoons of ghee in the steel insert of a 6 liter IP.
- Seal with the IP cover. Position the valve in the sealing position. Cook under pressure at high power for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes of pressure cooking, once the beep sounds, perform a Quick Pressure Release (QPR) by lifting the pressure valve. When all pressure is released, open the lid. Stir and mix very well.
- Press Cancel, then the Sauté button setting the time to 5 or 10 or 12 minutes in normal mode.
- The carrot halwa will begin to simmer and boil. Keep stirring often until the halwa thickens.
- When the halwa has almost thickened, add 1 tablespoon sliced or chopped almonds, cashews, pistachios and raisins. Add ½ teaspoon of cardamom powder.
- Until the liquids have evaporated continue to stir and simmer and the carrot halwa thickens. The halwa will look shiny and you will have some ghee releasing from the sides. Press the cancel button and serve the instant gajar halwa hot or lukewarm.