Carrot Halwa | Gajar Halwa

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My Carrot Halwa recipe with a detailed step-by-step guide and video shares the traditional way of making a delicious gajar ka halwa without any shortcuts or tweaks. But I also share making this rich carrot halwa with milkmaid, khoya and in the Instant Pot in this helpful post.

carrot halwa

About this recipe

During winters, I make gajar ka halwa often. It is a popular sweet made in north India during winters. By the way, in Punjabi language we call carrot halwa as gajrela.

This traditional carrot halwa recipe is made with only whole or full-fat milk, ghee and sugar. You don’t need khoya (evaporated milk solids) or condensed milk.

We generally use red Delhi carrots to make the halwa as they are tender and juicy. On occasions, I also make carrot halwa with orange carrots.

You can use any carrots – red, orange or black. But just make sure they are not fibrous, stringy and hard.

gajar halwa recipe
Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Carrot Halwa

Preparation

1. First rinse, peel 650 grams carrots (8 to 9 medium-sized tender juicy carrots or 6 to 7 long carrots).

carrots to make carrot halwa

2. Then grate the carrots either with a hand-held grater or in a food processor. You will need about 4 to 4.5 cups grated carrots.

carrots to make carrot halwa

Cooking carrots

3. In a heavy kadai, add all of the grated carrots.

carrots to make carrot halwa

4. Pour 4 cups full-fat milk. Switch on the burner.

making carrot halwa

5. Mix the grated carrots and milk together.

making carrot halwa

6. Cook this mixture on a low to medium flame. After some minutes, the milk will begin to froth first and then start reducing slowly and slowly.

making carrot halwa

7. 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. simmer carrots in milk and stir also at intervals, so that the milk does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

making carrot halwa

8. Cook the carrot and milk mixture until the milk is reduced by 75%.

making carrot halwa

Making carrot halwa

9. Then add 4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter). Do note that some milk will be there when you add the ghee.

making carrot halwa

10. Mix very well.

making carrot halwa

11. Next add 10 to 12 tablespoons sugar or as required.

making carrot halwa

12. Add cardamom powder – 5 to 6 green cardamom, powdered finely in a mortar-pestle or about ½ to 1 teaspoon cardamom powder.

making carrot halwa

13. Mix very well.

making carrot halwa

14. Continue to simmer on a low flame. Do stir often.

making carrot halwa

15. Simmer till the halwa mixture starts to thicken and reduces more. Stir at intervals.

making carrot halwa

16. When the halwa has reduced much and you see a little milk – like that of a pudding consistency. Then add nuts and dry fruits.

You can add your choice of nuts and dry fruits. I have added 12 cashews, 12 almonds and 2 tablespoons golden raisins.

Chop the nuts before you add. Raisins can be kept whole. If using saffron, then you can add at this step.

making carrot halwa

17. Mix again and continue to stir and simmer.

carrot halwa

18. Simmer till the whole halwa mixture becomes dry. The milk should evaporate completely and you will see fine milk solids in the carrot halwa.

You will also see some ghee being released from the sides. Remember to scrape the milk solids stuck at the sides of the kadai or pan and add them to the gajar halwa. Some moisture is also fine in the halwa.

carrot halwa, gajar halwa

Serve gajar ka halwa hot or warm. Refrigerate the leftovers and while serving you can warm the halwa. Garnish with some chopped dry fruits while serving.

carrot halwa recipe

Serving Suggestions

  • In the cold winters of North India, carrot halwa is served hot or warm.
  • You can even have gajar halwa chilled if you prefer. Some people like to have it cold or at room temperature and some people like to have carrot halwa hot or warm. It is just a personal preference.
  • In some restaurants, they serve a combination of carrot halwa with vanilla ice cream and believe me this combination tastes good.

Storing

  • Refrigerator: You can store the halwa in the fridge. It stays well for about 10 to 12 days but will get over quickly. When serving, you can just warm the halwa and then serve.
  • Freezer: Large quantities of carrot halwa can be made and frozen. Gajar halwa keep well in the freezer for about a month.
Tips

Expert Tips

  • Carrots: It is important to buy tender and juicy carrots so that they are easy to grate. Some arm work is needed to make this halwa as you have to first grate the carrots and then slow cook them in stovetop and keep on stirring them on regular intervals. Add any fresh, juicy, tender and sweet tasting carrots.
  • Grating or shredding: You can either grate or shred the carrots. The carrots can be grated using a hand-held grater or box grater and a food processor. Obviously, a food processor makes grating of the carrots easier.
  • Best pan to make carrot halwa: I suggest using a heavy iron kadai to make the halwa. The carrot halwa is simmered and simmered and stirred often. So that it should not get burnt, a really good and heavy kadai makes the job easier. You can also use a non-stick kadai or a thick bottomed pan or skillet.
  • Scaling: You can easily halve or double or triple this carrot halwa recipe.

How to make Carrot Halwa with Milkmaid

To make carrot halwa with milkmaid or condensed milk, follow these steps:

  1. Melt 6 tablespoons ghee in a heavy kadai or thick bottomed skillet or pan. Add in 9 cups of tightly packed grated carrots. Sauté the carrots until they turn tender and are cooked for about 15 to 20 minutes on low heat.
  2. Pour an entire can or tin of milkmaid or sweetened condensed milk (400 grams).
  3. Mix thoroughly and add 1.5 to 2 teaspoons cardamom powder, ⅓ cup raisins and ⅓ cup cashews.
  4. Mix well and simmer gajar ka halwa on a low heat. Stir often at intervals until the mixture thickens, reduces and dries up. Serve carrot halwa hot or warm or chilled.

How to make Gajar Halwa with Khoya

Making carrot halwa with khoya or mawa is very easy. Follow these steps to make the gajar ka halwa in 45 minutes.

  1. Heat 6 tablespoons ghee in a deep bottomed heavy pan or kadai.
  2. Add 9 cups tightly packed grated carrots.
  3. On a low heat, sauté carrots in ghee stirring often until they turn tender and are cooked for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Add 2 cups of crumbled or grated khoya (mawa or evaporated milk solids). 
  5. Mix thoroughly and then add 1 to 1.25 cups sugar. Combine and mix well. Adjust the amount of sugar depending upon the sweetness of your khoya. If your khoya is sweet, add 1 cup of sugar.
  6. You will see that both the khoya and sugar will melt. Now add ⅓ cup of cashews, ⅓ cup golden raisins, 1 tablespoon pistachios (chopped) and 1.5 to 2 teaspoons cardamom powder.
  7. Mix again and stirring often simmer gajar halwa on low heat. The halwa will start thickening, reducing and leave the edges of the pan. When you see these signs, switch off the heat. Sere gajar ka halwa made with khoya warm or chilled. 

Instant Pot Gajar Halwa

Making gajar halwa in the Instant Pot is so easy as you do not have to spend time frequently stirring the halwa. It saves a lot of time. Follow my easy steps to make instant pot gajar halwa.

  1. Take 4 to 4.5 cups grated carrots, 1.5 cups whole milk, ½ cup sugar, 4 tablespoons ghee in the steel insert of a 6 quart IP.
  2. Seal with the IP lid. Position the valve to the sealing position. Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes.
  3. After 3 minutes of pressure cooking, once the beep sound is heard, do a quick pressure release (QPR) by lifting the pressure valve. When all the pressure is released, open the lid. Stir and mix very well. 
  4. Press cancel and then press the sauté button setting the time to 5 or 10 or 12 minutes on normal mode.
  5. The carrot halwa will begin to simmer and bubble. Continue to stir often until the halwa thickens.
  6. When the halwa has almost thickened, add 1 tablespoons each of sliced or chopped almonds, cashews, pistachios and raisins. Add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder.
  7. Keep on stirring and simmering until the liquids have evaporated and the carrot halwa thickens. The halwa will look glossy and you will some ghee releasing from the sides. Press the cancel button and serve instant pot gajar halwa hot or warm.

How many days carrot halwa last?

Store carrot halwa in the refrigerator for 10 to 12 days. Do not keep it at room temperature as it will get spoiled. You can even freeze carrot halwa for about a month.

More Halwa Recipes

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carrot halwa recipe

Carrot Halwa | Gajar ka Halwa

4.86 from 126 votes
A carrot halwa recipe made in the traditional way and slow-cooked – with just carrots, whole milk, ghee, sugar and some nuts. You will love this evergreen and popular gajar ka halwa recipe.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins

Cuisine North Indian, Punjabi
Course: Desserts, Sweets
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Easy

Servings 6
Units

Ingredients

  • 8 to 9 carrots medium, juicy, tender – 650 grams or about 4 to 4.5 cups grated carrots
  • 4 cups whole milk or full fat organic milk
  • 4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 10 to 12 tablespoons regular sugar or raw sugar or 180 to 190 grams – add as required
  • 5 to 6 green cardamoms – powdered finely in a mortar-pestle or about ⅓ to 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 10 to 12 cashews – chopped
  • 10 to 12 almonds – sliced or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1 pinch saffron strands – optional

Instructions

Preparation

  • First rinse, peel and then grate the carrots (8-9 medium sized tender juicy carrots), either with a hand held grater or in a food processor.
  • You need approx 4 to 4.5 cups grated carrots.

Making carrot halwa

  • 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 halwa in between.
  • Towards the end, add the cashews, almonds, saffron and raisins. Simmer the halwa till all the milk is evaporated. Switch off the burner.
  • Serve gajar halwa hot, warm or you can also serve it cold. garnish with some chopped dry fruits while serving.

Video

Notes

  • Use fresh, juicy and tender carrots.
  • The recipe can be halved or doubled or tripled. 
  • The halwa stays good in the fridge for almost about 10 to 12 days. 
  • Use full-fat milk or whole milk.
  • Add nuts and dry fruits of your choice.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Carrot Halwa | Gajar ka Halwa
Amount Per Serving
Calories 328 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 38mg13%
Sodium 128mg6%
Potassium 560mg16%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 35g39%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 13856IU277%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin B12 1µg17%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Vitamin D 2µg13%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 12µg11%
Calcium 224mg22%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 24µg6%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 43mg11%
Phosphorus 197mg20%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This gajar halwa recipe post from the archives (Feb 2014) has been republished and updated on 14 December 2020.

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Dassana Amit

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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280 Comments

  1. I tried using the recipe but my halwa turned brown in color rather than red. Any reasons. I cooked on medium low heat.

    1. If the carrot stick to the pan or get browned while cooking, the halwa will become brown. A traditionally made gajar halwa requires plenty of stirrings. If you leave it unattended for some minutes, depending on the thickness or quality of pan, the carrots and milk might start getting scorched at the bottom, resulting in a brown color to the halwa. I hope this helps.

  2. Thank you for this recipe. Followed the instructions and cooked it. It turned out very well And everyone likes it..5 stars

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