Carrot Halwa or also known as Gajar Ka Halwa is a very popular dessert from India. This Carrot Halwa / Gajar Ka Halwa is a very quick and a delicious recipe made in a pressure cooker by preserving most of its nutrients value and its vibrant color!!
WHAT IS GAJAR KA HALWA (CARROT HALWA)
Carrot Halwa / Gajar Ka Halwa is traditionally slow cooked dessert made with just the four basic ingredients, i.e. carrots, milk, sugar, and ghee or clarified butter, simmered until carrots are cooked through. The simplicity of this dessert is what makes its so rich, flavorful and delicious
Typically, Carrot Halwa is made during the winters, when carrots are available in abundance, tender and juicy. I have a fond memories of this carrot halwa. I remember growing up in India, my Papa (my dad) used to get these red delicious carrots in abundance during the winters.
This was like whole day event, my mom used to hand grate these carrots, used to take her quite some time. Then in a big pot, she used to add milk, carrots and sugar, bring it to a boil and slow cook, until milk was almost evaporated and carrots were cooked through. Finally, she added ghee to give it a nice aroma.
Making of carrot halwa almost took her few hours. But, trust me all the effort was worth it. At the end we all relished this yummy piping hot carrot halwa. The day my mom used to make carrot halwa, I would just eat this whole day, for breakfast, lunch …dinner, so yum, absolutely divine!!! My mom makes the best carrot halwa Ahh…miss those days
HOW TO MAKE GAJAR KA HALWA (CARROT HALWA)
Traditionally, carrot halwa is made with red, tender, juicy carrots. But unfortunately where I live I don’t get red carrots. Therefore I use the orange carrots available here.
Honestly speaking I don’t find much of a difference in the carrot halwa made with these orange carrots, except for the color. Yes, instead of red carrot halwa, I get orange carrot halwa That’s all!! The taste is still the same, purely divine!!
Traditionally, my mom used to make this carrot halwa, in a wide heavy bottom pan, and slow cooked until the carrots were cooked through. I like to do it little different. I cook this carrot halwa in a Instant Pot, I think its so much quicker. Carrot halwa cooks in a fraction of a time in a Instant Pot and the best part is that I can still enjoy the same authentic flavors.
When cooking carrot halwa in a Instant Pot or any pressure cooker, there are few factors such as amount of liquid(milk), time and pressure level(high, low, med), play very important role in the taste, texture and color of the food. I tried few combinations till I could get the perfect texture, color and taste of this yummy carrot halwa.
RECIPE VIDEO - GAJAR KA HALWA (CARROT HALWA)
INSTANT POT GAJAR KA HALWA (CARROT HALWA)
Cooking carrot halwa in a Instant Pot is a breeze. Trust me, in a fraction of a time you can actually make this yummy, mouth watering carrot halwa in Instant Pot.
The only time consuming factor is grating the carrots. But nowadays this can also be done in a fraction of a time, all you need is a good food processor. And grating carrots will be a breeze too.
Once you have grated carrots, it only takes 10 minutes to make this delicious carrot halwa in Instant Pot. The taste you will never forget and looks you will die for
Turn on Instant Pot on a saute mode(high), add a tablespoon of ghee, when ghee melts, add grated carrots, 2 tablespoon of sugar, saute for 2-3 minutes.
Note: Do not skip adding sugar, it actually helps retain the vibrant color of carrots.
Add a cup of whole milk, mix well. Pressure cook this on a high for 3 minutes, followed by a quick pressure release.
Turn on saute mode (high), add the remaining sugar or to taste, saffron soaked in warm milk, cardamom powder, and almond flour, and cook until all the moisture is evaporated. This takes around 2-3 minutes.
Finally, add ghee(optional), mix well for 1-2 minutes and the carrot halwa is ready to be devoured!!
STOVE TOP GAJAR KA HALWA (CARROT HALWA)
Use any heavy bottom pot or a dutch oven around 8 quarts. Follow the same recipe as discussed earlier, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until all the moisture is evaporated and the carrots are cooked through. This will take around 20-25 mins. Keep stirring halwa in between to avoid sticking to the bottom. Rest of the recipe is same as Instant Pot.
TIPS FOR MAKING THIS DELICIOUS GAJAR KA HALWA (CARROT HALWA)
Grate the carrots to a medium thickness, if grated too thin the halwa will turn mushy and if grated too thick halwa will have big pieces.
Almond flour is optional, you can substitute crushed almonds instead or make it nut-free. Nuts of choice such as cashews, raisins may also be added.
Butter may be substituted instead of ghee. But traditionally halwa is made using ghee.
Cardamom powder and saffron gives carrot halwa a nice aroma.
Use heavy bottom pot for cooking halwa on a stove top. Helps prevent sticking of halwa at the bottom.
Instead of sugar, you can also used condensed milk, gives halwa a nice rich taste. Also, you can add khoya or milk powder to enhance the flavor.
Reduce fat milk may be substituted for whole milk.
FAQ ABOUT GAJAR KA HALWA (CARROT HALWA)
WHY USE SUGAR TWICE
Initially I add 2 tablespoon of sugar when pressure cooking, this actually helps retain the vibrant color of the carrots (red or orange). Yes, I tried to skip this initially and I could see the difference in the color.
And later I add sugar as per taste. Now, depending upon how sweet the carrots are and how sweet you like carrot halwa, adjust the sugar. I used ½ cup of sugar in this recipe total. Note: 2 tablespoon of sugar used while pressure cooking the carrots + the remaining sugar as per taste
WHY USE GHEE TWICE
I am using 2 tablespoon of ghee in all for this recipe. Firstly, when pressure cooking, I saute carrots in 1 tablespoon of ghee. Secondly, at the end I added 1 more tablespoon of ghee. This is totally optional.
The second time ghee is used just to give a nice glaze or a shinny look to the carrot halwa. If you would like to keep the carrot halwa on a lighter side, you could totally skip adding ghee the second time and the carrot halwa will still taste great.
WHY USE ALMOND FLOUR
I have a picky eater at home, my little one, my princess. She absolutely dislikes any kind of nuts in her food. And I think adding almond flour is the best way to seek in some of the essential nutrients into her diet, without even her knowing
Adding almond flour is optional, you could also add some handful of crushed almonds, will work just fine or make it nut-free, will totally do.
HOW TO MAKE GAJAR KA HALWA VEGAN / DAIRY-FREE
Substitute neutral oil or vegan butter instead of ghee.
Substitute full fat milk with nut milk like almond milk or full fat coconut milk.
HOW TO MAKE GAJAR KA HALWA NUT-FREE
For a nut-free gajar ka halwa, simply skip all the nuts and the almond flour. Instead you can use some pumpkin seeds, chia seeds for garnish. It will still taste delicious.
HOW TO MAKE GAJAR KA HALWA SUGAR-FREE
For a sugar-free gajar ka halwa, substitute sweetener of your choice instead of refined sugar.
HOW TO STORE GAJAR KA HALWA (CARROT HALWA)
Carrot Halwa stays fresh in refrigerator for about a week. You can easily freeze this too. It stays good for upto a month in a freezer. Thaw before using and warm it up before you serve.
Carrot halwa can be served warm or cold, it taste yum either way. Some prefer warm carrot halwa with a scoop of a vanilla ice-cream
Enjoy this North Indian delicacy, Carrot Halwa with your loved ones and cherish good moments!!
Here are some more Indian desserts for you to enjoy!!
Rice Pudding / Kheer creamy mildly sweetened rice pudding
Sweet Potato Halwa , delicious and healthy dessert made with sweet potatoes.
Basundi , thickened sweet milk flavored with some cardamom and saffron
Lauki Ka Halwa , delicious bottle gourd halwa
Here are some more recipes from blog. Happy cooking!!
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Bharwa Bhindi – okra stuffed with some Indian spices
Homemade Ghee – rich nutty flavor, nourishing and aromatic, homemade ghee
Aloo Gobi – simple, easy, delicious Potato Cauliflower curry
Broccoli Cheddar Soup – thick, creamy soup made with broccoli, cheddar cheese
Strawberry Jam – 3-ingredients, super easy, finger-licking homemade Strawberry Jam
Subscribe to our Youtube Channel for easy and delicious video recipes. Happy Cooking!!
Carrot Halwa / Gajar Ka Halwa - Instant Pot, Stove Top
- 4 cups firmly packed medium grated carrots
- 1 cup whole milk (For vegan please refer recipe notes)
- 2 tablespoon Ghee (For vegan please refer recipe notes)
- ½ cup sugar, as per taste (For sugar-free please refer recipe notes)
- ¼ cup Almond Flour (For nut-free please refer recipe notes)
- ½ teaspoon Cardamom Powder
- 15-20 strands Saffron
- 2 tablespoon warm milk (For vegan please refer recipe notes)
- 2 tablespoon almonds, pistachios slivered, add more if desired (For nut-free please refer recipe notes)
INSTRUCTIONS FOR INSTANT POT COOKING:
- Soak saffron strands in 2 tablespoon of warm milk, keep it aside.
- Turn on Instant Pot to saute mode (high).
- When it displays "HOT", add 1 tablespoon of ghee, shredded carrots, 2 tablespoon of sugar. Mix well.
- Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add cup of milk. Mix well. Turn off Instant Pot.
- Turn on Manual/Pressure cook mode (high), 3 minutes, vent sealed. When Instant Pot beeps, quickly release pressure. Open the IP lid.
- Turn on saute mode (high), add remaining sugar, saffron soaked in milk, cardamom powder, almond flour. Mix well.
- Saute on high until all the moisture is evaporated, around 2-3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of ghee, mix well for 1-2 minute.
- Switch off Instant Pot.
- Carrot halwa is ready to be served. Garnish with some almonds, pistachios. Enjoy!!
- TIPS FOR MAKING DELICIOUS GAJAR KA HALWA - please refer to the post discussed earlier.
- HOW TO MAKE GAJAR KA HALWA VEGAN / DAIRY-FREE – Substitute neutral oil or vegan butter instead of ghee. Substitute full fat milk with nut milk like almond milk or full fat coconut milk.
- HOW TO MAKE GAJAR KA HALWA NUT-FREE – For a nut-free gajar ka halwa, simply skip all the nuts and the almond flour. Instead you can use some pumpkin seeds, chia seeds for garnish. It will still taste delicious.
- HOW TO MAKE GAJAR KA HALWA SUGAR-FREE - For a sugar-free gajar ka halwa, substitute sweetener of your choice instead of refined sugar.
- For Stove top instructions: Use any heavy bottom pot or a dutch oven around 8 quarts. Follow the same recipe, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until all the moisture is evaporated and the carrots are cooked through. This will take around 20-25 mins. Keep stirring halwa in between to avoid sticking to the bottom. Rest of the recipe is same as Instant Pot.
Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
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