My Husband and I both have a really bad sweet tooth. We both grew up around family and friends that would make rich and tasty desserts, especially Indian desserts. Not only do they satisfy any sweet craving, they are all unique in their own way. One of our favorites is Gajar Ka Halwa/Gajrela (Carrot Halwa). It’s a very full flavored dish that has very little ingredients but bursts with flavor.
As a kid, I was not okay with the fact that I was given carrots for dessert, because let’s face it… that sounds a bit too healthy for a dessert. Gajar Ka Halwa is one of those dishes that sure does take you by surprise (if made right).
Every restaurant I’ve been to makes it a little bit different, some make it too moist and runny, while some make it too dried out. The key to Gajar Ka Halwa is patience, it’s a very easy and simple recipe to follow but if you are not the kind who would wait around for something to cook slowly, I wouldn’t recommend making this.
2 Lbs of Carrots (one full size bag from the grocery store)
2 cups of Milk (I use skim milk, but you can use whatever milk you have on hand)
2.5 Tbs Ghee (you can use butter instead, but the Ghee makes it much more rich)
2.5 Tbs White Sugar (you can use Brown sugar instead if you want to make it less fattening)
Pistachios- finely chopped (optional)
- Peel all of the carrots and rinse them well.
In a food processor, add in all the carrots and grind well until the carrots are completely mashed. I found that cutting the carrots in quarters and then placing them in the food processor makes it much easier
Grind up the Elaichi (cardomom)-you can use any grinder or a mortar.
In a pan, bring 2 cups of milk and the elaichi to a boil. Keep mixing the milk to make sure it doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
Once it comes to a boil, add in the mashed carrots. Stir well so that the carrots are completely covered with the milk.
Here is when you need to be very patient. Let the carrots cook on medium heat and cook until the milk is COMPLETELY evaporated. Make sure you are stirring occasionally so the mixture does not stick to the pan.
The milk needs to be completely evaporated, you don’t want your halwa to be runny and too moist.
Once the milk is evaporated, add the sugar and let that cook into the mixture.
Add in the ghee and cook well until the halwa is a bit dry in consistency. You have to keep cooking it so that the grease from the ghee evaporates completely. If you feel like you have overcooked the halwa and it has become too dry, you can add 1 tsp of ghee at a time and cook until desired consistency.
Garnish with chopped pistachios or almonds and serve. 🙂