instant pot gajar halwa

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Instant pot gajar halwa! Yes gajar halwa made in the instant pot in about 15 minutes. So obviously a very quick method to make a delicious gajar halwa in the IP.

Earlier I used to make gajar halwa in a stovetop pressure cooker and have now moved on to making it in the instant pot. I have to admit that instant pot is one of my favorite gadgets to cook with. Indian food adapts very well in the instant pot and gives great results.

instant pot gajar halwa served in a two dark green small plates with two brass spoons at the sides

Key points

  1. Cooking and time: traditionally this Indian carrot pudding is slow-cooked and simmered for hours with frequent stirrings. With the instant pot, it just takes 15 minutes to make the halwa with the same taste and texture as the traditionally made one. If you don’t believe me, you have to try it yourself.
  2. Less handwork: cooking the halwa in the IP requires less handwork and stirrings as compared to the traditional slow-cooked method.
  3. Three ingredients: usually in the pressure cooker method of making carrot halwa, condensed milk or milk powder or khoya (milk solids) are added, but I do not add them as these ingredients are not there in one’s kitchen all the time. The recipe uses three main ingredients for halwa – Fresh juicy carrots, milk and sugar. some nuts & dry fruits and a bit of cardamom powder is added for more taste and aroma.
  4. Two cooking techniques: First is to pressure cook the halwa mixture for 3 minutes in the IP. Then with a QPR (quick pressure release), the halwa is sauteed for 5 to 10 minutes till it thickens. This second part of sauteing is also easy.

Earlier, I have also shared the traditional slow-cooked stove-top version – Carrot halwa.

instant pot gajar halwa served in a two dark green small plates with two brass spoons at the sides

How to make instant pot gajar halwa

Preparation:

1. First thinly slice or chop 1 tablespoon cashews, 1 tablespoon almonds and 1 tablespoon pistachios. Also, powder 4 to 5 green cardamoms and keep aside or you can use ½ teaspoon premade ground cardamom powder.

dry fruits to make instant pot carrot halwa

2. Rinse and then peel 500 grams carrots OR 4 to 5 juicy red carrots.

red carrots.

3. Grate the carrots using a handheld grater or food processor. You will need about 4 to 4.5 cups grated carrots. Use a fine grater.

grated carrots

Pressure cooking in the IP

4. Take the grated carrots in the steel insert.

grated carrots in the steel insert

5. Add 1.5 cups full-fat milk or whole milk and ½ cup sugar.

add 1.5 cups full-fat milk

6. Add 4 tablespoons ghee.

add 4 tablespoons ghee

7. Mix very well.

mix

8. Switch on the IP. Cover with the instant pot lid and position the valve to sealing position. Press the pressure cook button on high for 3 minutes on high pressure.

press the pressure cook button of instant pot

9. After 3 minutes of pressure cooking, once the beep sound is heard, do a quick pressure release (QPR) by lifting the pressure valve. Let all the steam get released. Remove the IP lid. Stir and mix very well.

cooking carrot halwa in instant pot

Sautéing in the IP

10. Press cancel and then press the sauté button for 5 to 10 minutes or 12 minutes on normal mode.

press the sauté button of instant pot

11. The halwa mixture will begin to simmer and bubble.

simmer the halwa mixture

12. Continue to stir often.

stir the halwa mixture often

13. When the halwa mixture has almost thickened, add the sliced or chopped dry fruits along with 1 tablespoon raisins. Also add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder.

add sliced dry fruits to halwa

14. Keep on stirring and simmering till the liquids have evaporated. When you move a spoon in the halwa, the space created by the spoon should not be filled with any liquids. This implies that the halwa is done.

stir and simmer the carrot halwa in instant pot

15. When you reach step 14 (above) the halwa will become glossy and ghee will be released from the sides and all the moisture will be evaporated and the mixture will be thickened, then press the cancel button. If the mixture has not thickened well, then continue to stir and sauté for few more minutes.

cooked carrot halwa in instant pot

Serve instant pot gajar halwa hot or warm in the winters. Leftovers can be refrigerated.

instant pot gajar halwa served in a two dark green small plates with two brass spoons at the sides

Tips and suggestions

Vegan option – use almond milk and follow the same method for cooking in the IP. Use vegan butter or a neutral-tasting oil instead of ghee.

Carrots – both the red and orange variety of carrots work well in the recipe. Just make sure that the carrots are juicy, tender and not fibrous.

Scaling– you can halve or double or triple the recipe.

Sweeteners – though traditionally sugar is used to make this halwa. But you can use other sweeteners like jaggery, palm sugar, coconut sugar or maple syrup. For palm sugar, coconut sugar and jaggery – add these after the halwa has thickened and is done. Then using the saute option, mix very well till the jaggery or coconut sugar is melted. If jaggery or coconut sugar is added earlier while pressure cooking, then the milk will get curdled.

Make ahead option – the recipe can be easily made a day or two before and then refrigerated. While serving warm the halwa in the IP or in a pan before serving. The halwa stays good for about a week in the refrigerator.

More instant pot recipes

This recipe is from the archives and has been recently updated on 27 december 2019. 

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instant pot gajar halwa
instant pot gajar halwa
4.93 from 13 votes
Making gajar halwa in the instant pot is quick and just takes about 15 minutes.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Cuisine North Indian, Punjabi
Course: Desserts

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 500 grams carrots or 4 to 4.5 cups grated carrot
  • 1.5 cups full-fat milk or whole milk
  • ½ cup sugar or add as required
  • 4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 tablespoon cashews - chopped
  • 1 tablespoon almonds - sliced
  • 1 tablespoon pistachios - sliced
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder (ground cardamom) or 4 to 5 green cardamoms, powdered in mortar-pestle

Instructions

preparation

  • First thinly slice or chop 1 tablespoon cashews, 1 tablespoon almonds and 1 tablespoon pistachios. 
  • Also, powder 4 to 5 green cardamoms and keep aside.
  • Rinse, peel and grate carrots using a fine grater. you will need about 4 to 4.5 cups grated carrot (gajar).

making gajar halwa in the instant pot

  • Take the grated carrots, milk, sugar, ghee in the steel insert.
  • Switch on the ip. Cover with the instant pot lid and position the valve to sealing position. Press the pressure cook button on high for 3 minutes on high pressure.
  • 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. 
  • Press cancel and then press the sauté button for 5 to 10 or 12 minutes on normal mode.
  • The halwa mixture will begin to simmer and bubble. Continue to stir often till the mixture thickens.
  • When the halwa mixture has almost thickened, add the sliced or chopped nuts and dry fruits. Also, add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder.
  • Keep on stirring and simmering till the liquids have evaporated. When you move a spoon in the halwa, the space created by the spoon should not be filled with any liquids. 
  • The halwa will become glossy and ghee will release from the sides and all the moisture will be evaporated and the mixture will be thickened, then press the cancel button.
  • Serve instant pot gajar halwa hot or warm. Garnish with some chopped almonds or cashews while serving. Leftover halwa can be refrigerated and warmed before serving.

Notes

  1. Vegan option: almond milk can be used instead of dairy milk.
  2. Choice of nuts: you can add less or more nuts and dry fruits as per your requirements. Also your choice of nuts and dry fruits can be added. 
  3. Scaling: the recipe can be halved or doubled or tripled. 
  4. Sweeteners: sugar can be added as per your requirements. Traditionally sugar is used to make the halwa. But you can use other sweeteners like jaggery, palm sugar, coconut sugar or maple syrup. For palm sugar, coconut sugar and jaggery - add these after the halwa has thickened and is done. Then using the saute option, mix very well till the jaggery or coconut sugar is melted. If jaggery or coconut sugar is added earlier while pressure cooking, then the milk will get curdled.
  5. Carrots - both the red and orange variety of carrots work well in the recipe. Just make sure that the carrots are juicy, tender and not fibrous.
  6. Make ahead option - the recipe can be easily made a day or two before and then refrigerated. While serving warm the halwa in the ip or in a pan before serving. This instant pot gajar halwa stays good for about a week in the refrigerator. 

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Calories: 251kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 4gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 85mgPotassium: 414mgFiber: 3gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 14026IUVitamin B1 (Thiamine): 1mgVitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 1mgVitamin B3 (Niacin): 1mgVitamin B6: 1mgVitamin B12: 1µgVitamin C: 5mgVitamin D: 1µgVitamin E: 1mgVitamin K: 12µgCalcium: 103mgVitamin B9 (Folate): 21µgIron: 1mgMagnesium: 29mgPhosphorus: 113mgZinc: 1mg

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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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32 Comments

    1. while making any halwa with milk, always use whole milk or full-fat milk. do not use toned milk or skimmed milk. the milk will curdle. another option is to saute the carrots in some ghee and then add milk and sugar. also, pressure cook on low to medium-low flame. hope these tips help.

  1. I tried this for a Diwali get together at my place this year. Turned out Great ! I followed the recipe as is for the most part. I added about 1-1.5 cups of condensed milk after pressure cooking and adjusted sugar according to our tastes. It was rich but not too rich 🙂5 stars

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