Indian cuisine and its regional cuisines like that of South India are rich with dishes that are a celebration for your palate. Just like this Carrot Kheer, your not so typical kheer with rice or a lentil, yet a super decadent one. Popular as the Carrot Payasam in South India, this recipe is an easy and vegan sweet dish. It is because all the ingredients in this kheer are plant-based. Generally, kheers or payasams are made during festive occasions. However, that is not really the case as far as this recipe is concerned.
About Carrot Kheer
What is known as Kheer in the North India is called Payasam in South India. There are many ways this particular sweet is made all across India and thus there are myriad variations.
While a North Indian Rice Kheer or the South Indian Rice Payasam is popularly made, you will find varieties made with lentils, millets, nuts, veggies and fruits. The liquid ingredients that are added are either milk or coconut milk.
This Carrot Kheer is one such variation and a great way of including carrots or gajar in your diet. Sometimes, you may not be interested in consuming this root vegetable in a savory sabzi form.
Also, to make you regular calorie laden mithais (sweets) doesn’t really solve the purpose of eating this veggie. In that case, this Carrot Kheer is really something to look forward to.
This creamy, smooth and wholesome dessert is an amazing way of having carrots in your meals, just like the way you want. Since the ingredients used in this recipe are plant-based too, it is also a vegan variation as compared to the regular kheers.
More on the recipe
In addition to fresh carrots (if you have the winter red carrots, then all the more better!), all you need to make this Carrot Payasam is coconut milk, jaggery, some oil and flavorings like green cardamom powder and dry fruits like cashews and raisins.
If you are ok with making a non-vegan version, then instead of the oil, you can use some ghee or clarified butter too in this recipe.
In the current times, we put a lot of stress on our eyes. Watching television, reading books, surfing on internet, etc. Our eyes are at work, all the time and that puts a lot of strain on them.
To keep our eyes healthy and sound, it is essential that we consume Vitamin A rich foods in our diet. We all know that carrots are a great source of this essential nutrient.
Carrot Kheer is a simple and easy dessert recipe you can make for any occasion or even when you just want to pamper yourself.
Apart from having carrots plain or in salads, I make this Carrot Payasam as well as the Carrot Halwa at home. I prepare and refrigerate the carrot halwa, so that we can have it anytime as a light dessert.
You really don’t have to wait for any special or festive occasion to make this kheer or the halwa with carrots.
These are not just tasty but nutritious too and are a great way of feeding children or folks who are fussy about eating vegetables or fruits.
In this Carrot Payasam recipe, I have cooked the carrots first and then blended them to a puree. So, you get a creamy and smooth payasam.
Like I mentioned before as well, I have used coconut milk and jaggery to make this kheer. You can easily make it with dairy milk or sugar as well.
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Carrot Kheer | Carrot Payasam
- 3 carrots – medium to large, peeled and chopped roughly
- ¼ cup water – to blend carrots
- 3 to 4 green cardamoms – powdered and crushed or ½ teaspoon green cardamom powder
- 1 cup coconut milk – Thin or add water instead – check point 2 in notes below on how to thin coconut milk
- 1 cup Coconut Milk – Thick
- ½ to ¾ cup jaggery powder or add as required (depending on the sweetness of the carrots)
- ½ cup water – for dissolving the powdered jaggery
- 2 tablespoons cashews – halved or whole
- 1 tablespoons raisins
- 1 pinch rock salt (edible and food grade), optional
- 2 to 3 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter)
- Boil the peeled and roughly chopped carrots in enough water till they become soft and completely tender.
- You could boil or steam them in an pan, in a stovetop pressure cooker, or in an Instant Pot, adding water as required.
- Stir jaggery in ½ cup water and mix till the jaggery is dissolved.
- If there are impurities, then strain the jaggery solution.
- When the carrots are warm or cooled, blend them adding ¼ cup water in a blender to a smooth and fine puree.
- Mix the carrot puree, thin coconut milk, jaggery solution, salt in a pot or pan and keep on low heat.
- Gently heat through and occasionally stir.
- Don’t bring the mixture to a boil.
- Just let it get heated.
- When you see steam vapours floating on top above the payasam, switch off the fire.
- Stir in the thick coconut milk. Mix well and set aside.
- In a small pan, heat oil or ghee.
- First add the cashews and when they start to change color, add the raisins and cardamom powder.
- On a low heat, fry the cashew till they turn light golden or golden and the raisins swell and become golden.
- Pour this whole mixture into the payasam and stir to mix.
- Serve the carrot payasam hot or warm or cold. Refrigerate any leftovers.
- Use good quality coconut milk if using store bought. Best is to make homemade coconut milk from scratch and use in this recipe.
- To make thin coconut milk from store bought coconut milk – dissolve 1 part of coconut milk in 3 parts of water.
- If using dairy milk, then just substitute 2 cups milk and simmer the carrot puree, jaggery and salt with milk till the payasam mixture thickens a bit.
- You can add less or more of the liquids, either water or coconut milk to adjust the consistency of the kheer as required.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Carrot Kheer recipe from the archives first published in 2013 has been updated and republished on December 2022.