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Gajar ka halwa is a sumptuous pudding made with carrots, milk, sugar and spices. It is a North Indian specialty typically made during the winter months when carrots are readily available.
Its name is derived from gajar, the Hindi word for carrots, and halwa, which means sweets. This tempting dessert is also known as gajrela.
How do you make gajar ka halwa?
Honestly, gajar ka halwa is one of those desserts that is extremely easy to make. The trick is in having patience and stirring the pot often to prevent sticking, as you would with any other stovetop pudding.
It is essential that the carrots be grated by hand, otherwise they'd lose all of their juice and the halwa won't taste as good.
Cool fact: In India carrots have a reddish, sometimes purplish tint, which gives gajar ka halwa a gorgeous bright hue. But you can easily make it at home with regular orange carrots or even heirloom yellow carrots.
Recipe for gajar ka halwa
This recipe for gajar ka halwa serves 4 to 6 people. Here are the ingredients:
1 kg (2.2 lbs) finely grated carrots
2 liters (8 cups) of milk
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of ghee (Indian clarified butter)
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 tsp of cardamom powder
1/2 cup of cashews
1/2 cup of slivered almonds, optional
1/2 cup of crushed pistachios, optional
1. Place the grated carrots and milk in a large pot. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer and stir frequently until all the milk is absorbed.
2. Reduce heat to low. Add the sugar and ghee, stir constantly until all of the sugar is absorbed.
3. Mix in the raisins, cashews and almonds and pistachios, if using. Serve warm.
Hungry for more?
Now that you've armed yourself with our special recipe for gajar ka halwa, why not explore these other Indian desserts for Diwali?