The winter season is finally here and it’s that of the year when you look forward to savouring home-made gajar ka halwa (carrot halwa). A traditional north Indian dessert, gajar ka halwa is prepared with milk, carrots, ghee, dry fruits and khowa. The halwa is extremely delicious and almost melts in your mouth, leaving you craving for more and more.
As a child, I always found my mother grating juicy carrots to prepare mouth-watering gajar ka halwa for all the members in the family. During the winter season, my mother would gather all the required ingredients and cook the dessert on low flame until it was soft enough to be consumed and left behind an appetizing aroma that got us all excited. So, if you are in the mood to prepare the dessert for your loved ones or even if you haven’t tasted the gajar ka halwa before, take a look at the halwa recipe below.
- gajar or carrot -1/2 kg. You can increase the quantity as per your requirements
- Milk -1/2 liter or 2 cups (Note: Use full cream milk for best results)
- Sugar- 1/2 cup and an additional 2 tablespoon sugar
- Dry fruits (Optional)
- Cardamom (Elachi)-3 or 4 pods (Note: You can also use cardamom powder)
- Gheer or Clarified butter-2 tablespoons
- Mawa or khoya-1/2 cup (Optional)
- Wash fresh and juicy carrots and peel as well as grate them. You can use a hand grater or a food processing machine, depending upon your convenience.
- Keep the grated carrots aside.
- Roast the nuts (pista, almond, cashew) on low flame until they turn crunchy. Alternatively, one can chop the nuts and fry them in clarified butter (ghee).
- Keep the nuts aside and let them cool.
- Pour milk in a big pan or kadhai that is heavy at the bottom and let it boil.
The Final Step (Cooking the Halwa)
- Add the grated gajar (carrots) in the kadhai/pan and stir it for a while.
- Cook the carrots until all the milk has evaporated. Don’t forget to stir the carrots constantly. This helps in preventing the carrots from burning.
- Next put sugar in the pan and keep stirring for some more time. Sugar releases extra moisture that helps in cooking the halwa.
- Continue cooking for some time and add clarified butter (ghee) to the pan.
- Stir for a couple of minutes and continue cooking until moisture begins to evaporate.
- The halwa will begin to thicken and now you must add mawa or grated khoya and stir for another 2-3 minutes.
- Finally, garnish the dessert with roasted or fried nuts.
That’s it! The tempting gajar ka halwa is ready to be served chilled or warm. You can serve them to your near and dear ones and enjoy evening full of gossips or causal get-togethers over a bowl full of gajar ka halwa.
- Always buy carrots that are young, juicy and tender for best results. Grating these carrots is always easy and they are ideal for preparing mouth-watering halwa.
- Simmer and stir the halwa constantly to avoid burning. Typically, you should use a non-stick pan or a pan that is thick at the bottom.
- You could also store the dessert in your fridge and serve it warm or cold, based on individual preference.