Gajar ka Halwa Recipe (Carrot Halwa with Khoya)

Whether it’s a special occasion or simply a craving for something sweet, Gajar ka halwa also known as carrot halwa with khoya is a perfect choice. This beloved Indian and Pakistani dessert combines grated carrots, creamy khoya, and flavorful nuts, resulting in a harmonious blend of tastes that will please your taste buds.

The best part? Preparing this dessert is simpler than you might imagine! Today’s recipe is a typical Pakistani Gajar Halwa recipe that most people enjoy on festivals, such as Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid-ul-Adha, and even sometimes at weddings. Before diving into the recipe instructions, let’s first learn about the history of Gajar halwa in the sub-continent.

History of Gajar Halwa

Gajar ka Halwa, also known as Carrot Halwa, comes from the Indian subcontinent, especially Punjab. People have been making and enjoying it for a long time in the northern parts of India and Pakistan. This sweet dessert is made by grating carrots and cooking them with things like ghee, milk, and sugar until they become creamy.

Gajar ka halwa in a silver bowl
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With time, people started adding things like almonds, pistachios, and spices like cardamom to make it even better. It’s not just tasty – it’s also important for special times like celebrations and when it’s cold and carrots are easy to find. People still really love it today because it’s a yummy part of our food culture.

Now that you know a bit about Gajar ka halwa and its origin, let’s begin with preparing the Gajar Halwa recipe.

Gajar ka Halwa Recipe (Carrot and Khoya Halwa)

Recipe by Surayya JabinCourse: Asian Foods, Desi Foods, Dessert Categories, Desserts, Food Blogs, Indian Food, VegetablesCuisine: North IndianDifficulty: Medium
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

501

kcal
Total time

1

hour 

Before getting started, make sure you’ve all these ingredients in place to make sure everything is in order for your recipe. Follow the instructions given below to get started.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kilograms of carrots (approximately 9 cups tightly packed grated carrots)

  • 6 tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter)

  • 2 cups of khoya – grated or crumbled (400 to 410 grams)

  • 1 to 1.25 cups of sugar (as per taste)

  • 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of cardamom powder or 8 to 9 green cardamoms – powdered

  • 1 tablespoon of chopped or slivered pistachios (optional)

  • ⅓ cup of cashews (adjust quantity as desired)

  • ⅓ cup of golden raisins (adjust quantity as desired)

Directions

  • Grating the Carrots
    Start by cleaning and peeling the carrots. Then, grate them to get around 9 cups. These grated carrots are essential for making the delicious halwa
  • Adding Ghee’s Richness
    In a strong pan, melt 6 tablespoons of ghee on medium heat. Put in the grated carrots and softly cook them in the ghee. The carrots soak up the ghee’s richness, forming a luxurious base for the halwa. Make sure to stir the carrots well.
  • Adding Creamy Khoya
    Include grated or crumbled khoya into the pan with the carrots. Khoya, which is concentrated milk solids, adds a velvety and lavish texture to the halwa. It makes the dessert feel creamy and indulgent, enhancing its overall taste and appeal.
  • Balancing Sweetness
    Slowly incorporate sugar into the mixture, making adjustments based on how sweet you want it. This sugar helps harmonize the carrots’ inherent sweetness and enhances the richness of the khoya. It strikes a balance, ensuring the halwa isn’t overly sweet while still highlighting its luxurious flavors. Allow it to cook over low heat while stirring occasionally.
  • Aromatic Allure
    Add a captivating aroma by including either 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of cardamom powder or the powdered seeds from 8 to 9 green cardamoms. This fragrant addition enhances the flavor of the halwa, making it even more delightful to taste.
  • Pistachio Garnish (Optional)
    To make it even more special, sprinkle chopped or thinly sliced pistachios on the halwa. This adds a nice look and a different crunch to the dessert, making it even tastier.
  • The culmination of Flavors
    Let the halwa cook and come together over low heat, giving it a stir now and then. It should become thick and rich, with the ghee separating from the halwa. This shows that it’s done and ready to enjoy.
  • Present the Gajar ka halwa in a charming dish, garnished with a sprinkle of chopped pistachios for an enticing visual and textural appeal.
    Gajar ka halwa recipe served
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    Gajar ka halwa in a cup
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How to Cook Gajar ka Halwa in an Oven:

A bowl of Gajar ka Halwa garnished with sweets and almond slices.
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  1. Sautéing Carrots: In an oven-safe pan, heat 6 tablespoons of ghee over medium heat. Add the grated carrots and sauté for about 5-7 minutes, until they soften and release their aroma.
  2. Adding Khoya: Incorporate the grated or crumbled khoya into the pan with the sautéed carrots. Mix well to combine the flavors.
  3. Sweetening the Mix: Gradually add sugar to the mixture, adjusting the quantity based on your desired level of sweetness. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Aromatic Touch: Sprinkle the cardamom powder over the mixture, infusing it with the delightful aroma of cardamom.
  5. Nutty Crunch: Add cashews and golden raisins to the mixture, distributing them evenly for a satisfying crunch and bursts of sweetness.
  6. Oven Baking: Cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil. Place the pan in the preheated oven and let it bake for approximately 30-40 minutes. Check occasionally to ensure it doesn’t overcook.
  7. Checking Doneness: The halwa should have a thick, cohesive consistency and a lovely aroma. The ghee will separate from the mixture, indicating it’s ready.
  8. Final Touch: Once baked, remove the pan from the oven and let it cool slightly. Give it a gentle stir before serving to combine all the flavors.
  9. Serving: Serve warm, garnished with additional nuts if desired.

Nutritional Value as Per Serving

IngredientQuantityCaloriesCarbohydrates (g)Protein (g)Fat (g)Fiber (g)
Grated Carrots1 cup (167g)~50~11~1~0.1~2
Khoya (Mawa)1/4 cup (50g)~250~15~7.5~16.25~0
Sugar1 tbsp (12g)~30~7.5000
Cardamom Powder1/4 tsp~1~0.25000
Ghee1/2 tbsp (7g)~5000~5.750
Cashews1 tbsp (15g)~75~3~1.5~4.5~0.25
Golden Raisins1 tbsp (15g)~45~12~0.50~0.25
Total~501~49.25~11.5~26.6~2.5
Please note that the nutritional values are approximate and may vary based on specific brands and types of ingredients used in the recipe.

Serving Suggestions:

A steal bowl of Gajar ka halwa served with khoya on the top
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Here are some serving suggestions to enhance the enjoyment of your delicious carrot and khoya halwa:

  1. Warm Delight: Serve the carrot and khoya halwa warm for an indulgent experience that brings out the rich flavors and comforting aromas.
  2. Garnish: Before serving, sprinkle a pinch of cardamom powder over the halwa for an extra burst of aromatic goodness.
  3. Nuts Galore: Top each serving with a generous sprinkle of chopped pistachios for a delightful crunch and a pop of color.
  4. Nutritional Boost: For added texture and nutrition, consider garnishing with a handful of chopped almonds or walnuts.
  5. Cool Contrast: Serve a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream alongside the warm halwa to create a delectable hot-and-cold contrast.
  6. Traditional Twist: Accompany the halwa with a small serving of unsweetened yogurt for a traditional Indian pairing that balances the sweetness.
  7. Fruit Fusion: Add a touch of freshness by serving the halwa with a side of sliced fruits like mangoes or berries.
  8. Teatime Treat: Enjoy the halwa with an aromatic chai (tea) for a perfect combination.
  9. Presentation: Consider serving the halwa in individual dessert bowls or decorative cups for an attractive presentation.
  10. Special Occasions: This classic dessert is perfect for festive occasions, celebrations, and gatherings, creating a sweet ending to your meal.

Remember, these suggestions are just a starting point – feel free to get creative and tailor the presentation to your preferences and the occasion. Enjoy your carrot and khoya halwa!

FAQs about Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Khoya Halwa)

A glass bowl of Gajar ka Halwa with milk and almond representation
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1. What is Gajar ka Halwa?

Gajar ka Halwa, also known as Carrot Halwa, is a popular Indian dessert made from grated carrots, milk, sugar, and ghee (clarified butter). It’s a rich and indulgent dessert enjoyed during festivals, celebrations, and special occasions.

2. How do I make Gajar ka Halwa?

To make Gajar ka Halwa, start by grating fresh carrots and cooking them in a pan with milk until they soften. Then, add ghee and cook until the carrots are fully cooked and the milk is reduced. Add sugar, cardamom, and nuts for flavor, and cook until the mixture thickens. Garnish with more nuts before serving.

3. Can I use canned or frozen carrots for this recipe?

Fresh carrots are preferred for the best taste and texture. Canned or frozen carrots may alter the texture and taste of the halwa.

4. Is Gajar ka Halwa vegan-friendly?

The traditional recipe includes milk and ghee, which are not vegan. However, you can make a vegan version by using plant-based milk (such as almond milk) and vegan butter instead of ghee.

5. How do I store Gajar ka Halwa?

Store the halwa in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can be stored for up to 4-5 days. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.

6. Can I freeze Gajar ka Halwa?

Yes, you can freeze Gajar ka Halwa. Allow it to cool completely, transfer it to a freezer-safe container, and store it in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator and reheat it before consuming.

7. What are some variations of Gajar ka Halwa?

You can experiment with variations by adding ingredients like khoya (reduced milk solids), grated coconut, saffron, or even fruits like pineapple for a unique twist.

8. Is Gajar ka Halwa difficult to make?

Gajar ka Halwa is not extremely difficult to make, but it does require time and attention to achieve the desired texture and flavor. The key is to patiently cook the grated carrots until they’re soft and the milk is reduced.

9. Can I make Gajar ka Halwa ahead of time?

Yes, you can make Gajar ka Halwa ahead of time, especially if you’re planning for a special occasion. Prepare it, let it cool, and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat before serving.

10. Is Gajar ka Halwa served hot or cold?

Gajar ka Halwa is typically served hot or warm. The warmth enhances the flavors and aromas of the dish.

11. Can I adjust the sweetness of the halwa?

Absolutely, you can adjust the amount of sugar according to your preference. Add more or less sugar as desired.

12. Is Gajar ka Halwa only popular in India?

While Gajar ka Halwa originated in India, its deliciousness has gained popularity worldwide, especially in Pakistan and significant places of Asia.

13. Can I use other types of carrots for this recipe?

Orange carrots are the most commonly used for Gajar ka Halwa due to their vibrant color and sweetness. However, you can experiment with other carrot varieties if desired. They’re also useful in the Gajar rice recipe.

14. What occasions is Gajar ka Halwa commonly made for?

Gajar ka Halwa is often prepared during festivals like EID, Diwali, and Holi, as well as for celebrations like weddings, birthdays, and family gatherings.

15. Can I make a healthier version of Gajar ka Halwa?

To make a healthier version, you can reduce the amount of sugar, use low-fat milk or a milk substitute, and limit the use of ghee. You can also add more nuts and fruits for added nutrients.

Final Note

So, now that you’re done making Gajar khoya halwa, do share your feedback in the comments below. I prepare this recipe for my children on festive occasions such as Eid-ul-Fitr and in the winter season.

This not only helps sweeten your taste buds but is also an effective remedy to escape the cold when served with boiled eggs. It’s a delicious dessert made with grated carrots, creamy khoya, aromatic cardamom, and a variety of nuts.

It’s a perfect recipe for celebrations or a quiet evening and is sure to impress anyone who tries it.

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