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Simply Desserts: Gajar/Carrot Halwa

I don't want a six pack,I rather want a bowlful of this toothsome carrot confection every day.If heaven had a signature dessert,this would it be!

Sweet,juicy carrots cooked in milk and clarified butter,combined with the creamy texture of whole milk fudge and sprinkled with fried cashews to make a spectacular Indian dessert.Fit for the gods!
Often,it is difficult to recreate the taste and appearance of Gajar Halwa served in restaurants and wedding banquets.The trade secret is to saute carrots in clarified butter,before boiling them in milk.This prevents them from becoming mushy while cooking.
Cooking Time : 30 minutes
Servings : 4


4 large carrots - peeled and grated
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
125 grams whole milk fudge(khoya/mawa) - grated
10 cashewnuts - split into two
Generous pinch of green cardamom powder
2 tablespoons ghee


Start with heating the ghee in a kadhai.When hot,fry cashewnuts over a medium flame till golden brown and gorgeous.Take out with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
In the same ghee,tip in the grated,red carrots.Saute them for five to six minutes,stirring all the time.This will help in retaining the 'bite' in carrots,and will ensure that the halwa does not become mushy later.
Then,add the milk,and cook,till it dries,leaving the carrots nice and soft.Not only will the milk help in tenderizing carrots,it will also intensify their natural,pleasing sweetness.Oh,and it will fill your kitchen with a dazzling aroma,of course!
Once the milk dries,sweeten the cooked carrots with sugar.Keep stirring constantly,as the carrots take a deep red color,due to the caramelization of sugar,and release moisture.Allow all of this water to evaporate from the pan,and stir in the pale,cream colored whole milk fudge.Continue cooking for the next three to four minutes,letting the flavors blend harmoniously.Finish with sprinkling the fragrant green cardamom powder,return fried cashewnuts to the pan,give a good stir and switch off the heat.Go on,play god.Taste the offering!


1. Sugar is added much later in the recipe since if added earlier,it may prevent the carrots from softening.
2. Cardamom powder is used at the end,so that it does not lose its perfume.

In India,Gajar Halwa is made in winter when carrots are sweeter than any other time of the year and have their fullest flavor.

Creative Commons License
This work by Fahad Khan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

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+ comments + 6 comments

09/12/2011, 06:15

A wonderful dish that i would love to try! Middle-Easterners have their carrot dessert too, minus the milk; wonder what the milk fudge is and whether it could be substituted for something else. would be hard to find in Beirut ..

30/01/2012, 02:48

oh yum! The flavours sounds amazing.

05/03/2012, 11:48

Thank you for appreciating.:-) Yes,whole milk fudge is more easily found in the South Asian Subcontinent than anywhere else.It is made by drying/reducing milk to a point where all the liquid evaporates and only solids are left behind.Whole milk fudge is used for a lot of desserts here in India,and neighboring countries.
Since it is difficult to find it in Beirut,you can substitute it with a few tablespoons of milk powder.:-) It will give a very similar taste and texture to the preparation.

30/06/2013, 06:52

I should try this recipe! I love Gajar Halwa! And this sounds heavenly!

21/03/2014, 04:43

Finally tried it! I guess the carrots here, were not dark or sweet enough, so I needed to add more sugar. But, it turned out really good!! Loved it! It tastes heavenly!

21/03/2014, 12:55

Not only is it heavenly, but also the quickest and easiest Gajar/Carrot Halwa I have ever made!!! Everyone enjoyed it, including the fussiest eater in my family! Will definitely make it again, soon! :-)

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