GAJAR HALWA/ CARROT HALWA
Gajar Halwa/ Carrot Halwa is a very popular Indian dessert. Mostly a winter dessert. Though it is made frequently with the regular carrots ( English Carrots), using the Delhi Carrots or Red Carrots as they are called gives the best results.
This is one dessert I love and consider it very sacred, so if you are looking for an easy, one pot or microwave recipe, you are going to be disappointed. As far as Gajar Halwa is concerned I am old school. I cook it in milk( and a whole lot of milk) so that the raw taste of the Carrots is gone and the milk crumbles to a Rabri like texture. The taste of such a Halwa is divine. This is one recipe I have never made with regular carrot except in my dessert recipe- Gajar halwa Barfi where I was shaping it like fudge( Barfi) and using Khoya to speed up the process. Whereas this recipe of Gajar Halwa is a slow cook process. The slower it cooks the better it tastes. Am I disappointing you? Well, make it like this and you will be hooked to it for life. Remember the best things in life come with a lot of patience.
My belief is that when I wait a whole year for the Red Carrots to appear in the Market and then make the Halwa, then it should be made the authentic way. Which does not involve adding condensed milk or Koya or milk powder but in cooking the carrots in milk( whole cream), to perfection.
I use only whole cream milk to make this dessert. So the taste of the Halwa depends entirely on the quality of milk. A full/whole cream milk Halwa will give you better taste and I can say this because I have tried it will all milk varieties available in the market and what works best is whole/full cream milk.
So after the whole mega write up, taking you to the recipe. While you are here do check out my other carrot based desserts like Carrot Kheer( another speciality from Rajjo’s Kitchenn) and Gajar Halwa Barfi.
Carrots ( Preferably Red ones) 1.5 kilo grated
Milk whole cream/ full cream 2 litres
Sugar 300 gm
Cardamom/ Elaichi powder
Ghee 4 tbsp
Cashews a new broken
Wash, peel and grate the carrots and keep aside. In a huge thick bottomed vessel/ kadai/ or urli boil the milk. When it comes to a boil, reduce the flame and put in the grated carrots. Start stirring the mixture. The flame can be increased now but constant stirring is required . This process has to continue until almost all the milk dries up. The texture will look like Rabri stickng to carrot. Once all milk dries up, reduce the flame and add the sugar. Continue to stir again. Once the sugar is added the mixture will liquify, continue to stir until all the moisture is absorbed. The halwa will come together but it will not be gooey. Now add the cardamom powder. Fry the nuts in ghee and pour it over the halwa along with the nuts. The healthy and delicious Gajar Halwa is ready. Serve warm. Bon Appetite.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Wash, peel and grate the carrots and keep aside. In a huge thick bottomed vessel/ kadai/ or Urli boil the milk.
2. When it comes to a boil, reduce the flame and put in the grated carrots. Start stirring the mixture. The flame can be increased now but constant stirring is required . This process has to continue until almost all the milk dries up. Showing you the stages of reduction in pictures below that are self explanatory.
3. Once all milk dries up, reduce the flame and add the sugar. Continue to stir again. Once the sugar is added the mixture will liquefy, continue to stir until all the moisture is absorbed. The Halwa will come together but it will not be gooey. (forgot to click a picture finally to show the final consistency, so have included the one showing the cardamom powder. Please follow that texture for final consistency of Halwa).
4. Now add the cardamom powder. Fry the nuts in ghee and pour it over the Halwa along with the nuts. The healthy and delicious Gajar Halwa is ready. Serve warm.
1. While cooking at high heat keep stirring constantly to avoid burning the contents at the bottom of the pan.
2. Actually after sometime of cooking the milk and carrot mixture , it does not overflow from the vessel. That time the stirring can be relaxed a bit, but stir every couple of minutes. If you are following this reduce flame when not stirring.
3. Good quality full cream milk yields the best result, the Halwa can be made with milk of any consistency though. The results may not be what I have described .
4. Feel free to try this with regular Carrots too. Method being the same.
5. Sometimes people try to over power the subtle carrot flavour by adding huge amounts of ghee. This is not required. Pouring ghee at the right time is very important, such that the flavour is enhanced and a lot of ghee is not poured unnecessarily. Check out my Cakkara Pongal post for the directions on how to pour the ghee.
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.