carrot halwa or gajar halwa recipe – a traditional way of making gajar halwa without any shortcuts or tweaks. by the way, at home we call carrot halwa as gajrela.
during winters, we make gajar halwa often. this time i was not able to make the halwa due to time constraints. so on the request of hubby, made gajar halwa after a long long time. so when i made the halwa, i took the pics too.
there are few variations of making gajar halwa recipe:
1. vegan carrot halwa recipe – made with almond milk.
2. microwave carrot halwa recipe – a quick method to make gajar halwa in microwave.
3. carrot halwa made with sweetened condensed milk or milkmaid – easy and quicker method to make the halwa.
we generally use red delhi carrots to make the halwa as they are tender and juicy. here i used organic english carrots to make the halwa. after some days again, i made the halwa and this time used the red delhi carrots. you can use any carrots. but just make sure they are not fibrous and dense. you can even use the orange ooty carrots to make the halwa.
this traditional recipe uses just full fat milk, ghee and sugar to make the halwa. you don’t need khoya/evaporated milk or condensed milk. to make gajar halwa, it is important to buy tender and juicy carrots so that they are ease to grate. some arm work is needed to make this pudding as you have to first grate the carrots and then slow cook them in stove top and keep on stirring them on regular intervals.
you can grate the carrots manually or in a food processor. obviously the food processor makes grating the carrots easier. i suggest to use a heavy iron kadai to make the halwa. the halwa is simmered and simmered and stirred often. so that it should not get burnt,a really good kadai makes the job easier. you can also use a non stick kadai or a thick bottomed pan.
you can store gajar halwa in fridge. it stays well for almost a week but will get over quickly. when serving, you can just warm the halwa and serve. you can even have the halwa cold, if you prefer.
lets start step by step carrot halwa or gajar halwa recipe:
1. first rinse, peel and then grate the carrots, either with a hand held grater or in a food processor.
2. in a kadai, add all of the grated carrots.
3. pour the milk.
4. stir the grated carrots and milk and keep the kadai on the stove top.
5. cook this mixture on a low to medium flame. the milk will froth and start reducing slowly and slowly.
6. keep on stirring this halwa mixture often. keep scraping the sides of the kadai to remove the evaporated milk solids. add the milk solids to the cooking mixture.
7. the mixture should reduce by 75% and then you add the ghee/clarified butter. some milk will be there when you add the ghee.
8. next add the sugar.
9. add the cardamom powder.
10. stir and continue to simmer on a low flame till the mixture starts to thicken and reduce more. stir at intervals.
11. when the halwa has reduced much and you see a little milk – like that of a pudding consistency. then add the cashews, saffron and golden raisins.
12. continue to stir and simmer till the whole mixture becomes dry. the milk should evaporate completely and you will see fine milk solids in the halwa. remember to scrape the milk solids stuck at the sides of the kadai or pan and add them to the halwa. some moisture is also fine in the halwa.
serve gajar halwa hot or warm.
carrot halwa or gajar halwa recipe below:
- 8 to 9 medium tender juicy carrots/gajar - yields approx 4 to 4.5 cups grated carrots
- 4 cups full fat organic milk
- 4 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
- 10 to 12 tbsp organic unrefined cane sugar or regular sugar or as required
- 20-25 whole cashews/kaju
- 5 to 6 green cardamom, powdered finely in a mortar-pestle or about ⅓ tsp cardamom powder
- a pinch of saffron strands/kesar (optional)
- handful of golden raisins
- rinse, peel and grate the carrots.
- in a kadai or deep thick bottomed pan combine milk and grated carrots.
- on a low to medium flame, bring the whole mixture to a boil and then simmer.
- while the mixture is simmering on a low flame, keep on stirring in between.
- the grated carrots will cook in the milk and the milk will start to reduce and evaporate.
- when the milk has 75% reduced, add the ghee, sugar and powdered cardamom to the mixture.
- stir well and continue to simmer and cook on a low flame.
- do keep on stirring the gajar halwa in between.
- towards the end, add the cashews, crushed saffron and raisins and simmer till all the milk is evaporated. switch off the burner.
- serve gajar halwa hot, warm or you can also serve it cold.