Gajar Halwa is a confectionary (sweet) prepared using fresh carrots (carrots are called ‘gajar’ in hindi) and is considered a recipe of festive times in India. Gajar Halwa or carrot halwa tastes very rich and turns out very creamy without even using khoya. I always prepare Gajar Halwa during winters as we get nice fresh red carrots during this time, which are perfect for preparing Gajar ka Halwa.
Though Gajar Halwa recipe is prepared in many ways, here in this blog I will explain the simplest or easiest method in which we don’t have to spend a lot of time in grating or shredding carrots to prepare this Gajar Halwa.
Origin of Halwa
Halwa is a type of dessert recipe. Halwa word is used to refer sweets or confectionary and it is believed that the word ‘Halwa’ came from Arabic word ‘Hulwa’ (pronounced ‘Hulw’). Halwa sometimes referred as Halva or Halvah and is originated from Arabic lands and then through Persia, Halwa word reached to India and Indian subcontinents.
Type of Halwa depends on the main ingredient used to make halwa recipe and that can be any one of these – carrots, semolina, moong dal, beetroot and many more. But to prepare any type of halwa, the very common ingredients used are ghee, sugar and khoya or milk or condensed milk. Ghee and sugar are kind of mandatory ingredients for any Halwa recipe. But, milk, khoya or condensed milk are alternatives of one another or we can use any combination of milk, khoya, condensed milk or milk powder.
In most of the Halwa recipes, cardamom powder and saffron strands are used for flavouring and dry fruits are used to make Halwa richer in taste. Halwa can be eaten hot or chilled depending on your choice, preference and how you want to enjoy this delicious sweet pudding.
Brief information about Gajar ka Halwa
Gajar Ka Halwa is a Hindi word and it is one of the famous North Indian Halwa recipe, just like Moong Dal Halwa. Gajar Halwa or carrot halwa is a very beautiful dessert, both in looks and in taste. One can use milk, condensed milk, milk powder or khoya to prepare Gajar ka Halwa but then depending on what you choose, there will be differences in the time required for cooking carrot halwa, as the time required to get the required consistency (medium thick to thick) will vary.
In this method of Gajar Halwa recipe, I have saved a lot of efforts required to grate carrots and instead I pressure cooked them. I have used 1 kg of carrots to cook Gajar Halwa in this recipe because I had some guests at home who also wanted to taste this delicious Gajar ka Halwa. The time to cook gajar halwa will obviously differ depending on how many people you are going to cook it for.
My guests liked the Carrots Halwa and I hope you too would love to prepare Gajar Halwa with this effortless method. Gajar ka Halwa is super tasty recipe filled with lots of dry fruits. Dry fruits and ghee are kind of must have foods during winter to keep the skin moist, for strong bones and many more benefits.
You can also watch the complete video on YouTube to prepare Gajar Halwa.
Though this blog is about Gajar Halwa, I would also suggest you to check Moong Dal Halwa recipe which I shared earlier, it tastes amazing too like this carrot halwa.
I used condensed milk in this Gajar Halwa recipe. You can check the blog about how to prepare Condensed Milk at home.
Let’s quickly check this no grating method for preparing Gajar Halwa. To check many more such tasty food recipes in video formats, you can also visit FoodQuench’s YouTube Channel.
Gajar Halwa Recipe | Sweet Carrot Pudding | A confectionary packed with dry fruits
Ingredients for Gajar Halwa Recipe
Ingredients for Gajar Halwa Tadka
Cooking method for Gajar Halwa Recipe
Peel off carrots and cut into medium or big chunks.
Heat a cooker and once cooker is hot, add a tablespoon of ghee to it. Then, transfer carrot chunks to ghee.
On low flame, roast carrots in ghee for 2 to 3 minutes which removes rawness from carrots and makes it aromatic.
Close the lid and pressure cook on low flame for 3 whistles.
After 3 whistles, allow pressure cooker to cool down and check carrot chunks.
Carrot chunks are well cooked (very soft). So, transfer them to another bowl as we will be using same pressure cooker next.
Few things to note:
- Don't add water to pressure cooker, as carrot releases some water and if we add water to carrots, taste of halwa will get spoiled.
- Sometimes if we don't close cooker lid properly then whistle doesn't work. In that case, it's better to check the carrots after 15 to 20 minutes to avoid it from burning.
- If you don't want to use pressure cooker, then just add carrots to kadhai and cook them by closing lid until they turn soft.
Add milk to the cooker and allow it to heat on medium flame. Stir often, so that milk will not burn.Milk has heated well, as we can see the cream layer has formed. This is how khoya will form in this recipe when we will cook milk and carrots together.
Now transfer steamed carrot chunks to the hot milk.
Add saffron strands.
You can visit this Gajar Halwa YouTube Video (below) to get a detailed view of the process.
- Take few saffron strands and add some hot milk to it (from the one which is already boiling).
- Crush saffron strands with fingers or let them soak in hot milk for 30 minutes. I have crushed and added saffron strands to milk and carrots.
- Let carrot chunks cook in milk until cream layer is formed and milk starts reducing.
Milk has reduced slightly and creamy layer has started to form. At this stage mix well and mash carrots completely.
Now let carrots and milk boil together until milk reduces to almost half of it. Khoya crumbles have started to form, this consistency is now perfect to add other ingredients.Keep stirring often to avoid burning gajar halwa mixture.
Now add sugar and condensed milk to it. Mix and keep stirring.
Add cardamom powder too and mix. Again cook until mixture starts to thicken.
At this consistency mix and lower the flame and cook until halwa thickens
Gajar halwa is cooked well now and thickened. Now keep this aside as we need a special tadka.
Let's prepare a ghee tadka. Heat a pan and add 3 tablespoons of ghee to it.If you prefer less ghee, all dry fruits can be roasted in 1 tablespoon of ghee too.
Later add chopped almonds, chopped pista and cashew slices to ghee. Fry these until they become crunchy and light golden. This ghee rich dry fruits tadka is perfect to add to gajar ka halwa.
Turnoff the flame and transfer dry fruits to carrot halwa.
Now mix everything well and transfer to the serving bowl. Gajar halwa looks delicious and creamy 😍.
Time to serve superhot gajar halwa by adding some dry fruits on top to make it even prettier.