½teaspooncardamom powder(ground cardamom) or 4 to 5 green cardamoms, powdered in mortar-pestle
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.
Vegan option: almond milk can be used instead of dairy milk.
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.
Scaling: the recipe can be halved or doubled or tripled.
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.
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.
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.