gajar halwa or carrot halwa - one of the most popular halwa recipes of india. gajar halwa is made in almost all festive occasions like diwali, holi, janmashtami and so on.
gajar halwa is a classic indian dessert that goes for any celebrative occasion or season. its an evergreen indian dessert made all over india.
gajar halwa and beetroot halwa holds special memories for me. these two sweets were mom’s favorites sweets and no matter how tired she was or the lack of time she had, she would make sure to make these two sweets always…. both together for festive and special occasions.
there are some indian sweets and desserts i have successfully veganized and shall be posting them one by one. this gajar ka halwa is one of the successfully veganized indian sweets… the first being seviyan (vermicelli) kheer).
what comes to my rescue in making indian sweets, is almond milk and paste whilst replacing milk and evaporated/khoya in indian sweets respectively.
the method of making this gajar halwa is exactly the way i make halwa with milk…. be it lauki ka halwa, beetroot halwa or gajar halwa.
its the same cooking technique to make carrot halwa:
so if you are a vegan use almond milk and neutral flavored vegetable oil to make carrot halwa.
if you are a vegetarian use regular dairy milk and ghee to make carrot halwa.
the proportion of sugar and oil/ghee can always be adjusted in any halwa. so if you like a more sweeter version, add more sugar and if you like a little more grease, then add some more oil or ghee.
personally for me this vegan gajar halwa made in almond milk was tasting very much similar to the regular gajar halwa. even the family could not make out the difference.
i have taken step by step pics for this gajar halwa recipe post. since it was night time there is no daylight magic in the pics and hence look ok ok.
lets start step by step carrot halwa or gajar halwa recipe:
1: first is the tedious job of grating carrots. use a food processor for quick results.
2: mix the almond milk (or regular dairy milk) and carrots together in a pan or kadai/wok.
3: put the pan on fire and bring the whole carrot – almond mixture to a gentle boil on a low or medium flame. better to cook on a low or medium flame as slow cooking gives a better taste and the mixture does not have less chances to stick to the pan. use a heavy based non reactive pan or a non stick pan or wok to make the halwa.
4: then simmer and let the carrots-milk mixture cook further. this whole process of cooking the carrots in the milk, takes about 35-45 minutes or more on a low flame. after 12 minutes this is how the mixture appears.
5: once the carrots are half cooked ie. after overall after 18 minutes add the cardamom powder & stir.
6: continue to stir in between. after 3-4 minutes, add the oil/ghee and sugar.
7: stir and let the mixture thicken. continue to cook. after 5 minutes…
8: when the liquids in the mixture has almost dried, add raisins, cashews, saffron and almond paste.
9: stir and cook for 2-3 minutes till the moisture dries up. serve the gajar halwa hot or warm. you can have gajar halwa cold too. if stored in a refrigerator then gajar halwa stays good for 3-4 days.
gajar halwa or carrot halwa recipe below:
- 2 and ½ cups grated organic carrots or gajar
- 2 and ½ cups almond milk or regular dairy milk
- 8 tbsp organic unrefined cane sugar or regular sugar ( add more or less as required)
- ¼ or ⅓ cup almond paste or evaporated milk/khoya (optional)
- 5-6 cardamom, powdered or crushed
- 8-10 unsalted whole or chopped cashews
- 7-8 unsalted pistachois – sliced or chopped
- 12-15 golden raisins
- a pinch of saffron (optional)
- 2 or 2/12 tbsp neutral flavored oil (sunflower oil) or ghee
- wash, peel and grate the carrots (gajar).
- mix the almond milk or regular dairy milk and grated carrot together in a pan.
- keep on fire and allow the mixture to simmer.
- continue to simmer and cook stirring in between.
- after 15-20 minutes add cardamom powder and stir.
- when the mixture has started thickening, add sugar & oil/ghee.
- stir and continue to cook.
- when the mixture has almost dried, add the almond paste and dry fruits.
- stir and cook further for 2-3 minutes.
- serve gajar halwa hot or warm.
- the carrot halwa can be also refrigerated and served cold.
- carrot halwa stays good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.