Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa) is the most yearned for dessert in India during the winter season. The more the winter chill, the more the yearn. Us Indians, love our desserts, be it any season, place or occasion. Our meals are incomplete without desserts, may it be phirni, kheer, gulab jamun, kaju katli, kulfi, chawal ka muzzaffar, rassgulla, gajar ka halwa or any other kind of halwa, the list is endless.
Halwa – the most go to dessert.
One can make halwa out of almost all kinds of vegetables, lentils, fruits and even egg and meat. On one front there are the typically famous halwas like suji halwa, moong dal halwa, pumpkin halwa, gajar ka halwa, badam ka halwa etc.. The other side however, lists more weird, ‘what in the world’ type of halwas. Like onion halwa, bitter gourd halwa, green chilli halwa, cauliflower halwa, beetroot halwa, gosht (meat) halwa, etc. You can literally think of an ingredient and I m sure you can make a halwa out of it.
I recently tried making another strange dessert, with cauliflower as the main ingredient. It is called the Cauliflower Barfi, and I m quite confident in saying it actually tasted quite delicious or as my son would say it, Yum-my (with the stress on yum). Will share the recipe soon.
Gajar ka halwa, is the most representative of desserts from India and an all-time favourite. Gajar ka halwa is in demand mainly in the winter season. Since the carrot is a winter vegetable. Winter brings in a large produce of carrots, which aids in the meeting of the demand of this dessert everywhere. With the carrots being fresh and tender red in comparison to the regular unseasonal ones, it gives a good taste and a certain quality to the dish.
The authentic Gajar ka halwa over the years has been glamourised by the Bollywood Filmmakers by associating it with the warmth of a mother’s love. Hence, the popularity of the dessert.
Making of Gajar Ka Halwa….
It is primarily made in pure ghee with a lot of dry fruits (cashew, almonds, raisins), juicy red carrots as the main ingredient. It was one of the first dishes that I learned to make in the kitchen, of course, in the presence of my mother. Instead of cooking the grated carrots in milk, we sautéed the grated carrots in ghee first, adding very little milk but more khoya and then sugar. There’s is another simpler version that’s even easier to make, more like a shortcut method. Carrots are cut into pieces instead of grating them. They are then pressure cooked in a little milk to soften them. Then, this is pureed and cooked with khoya and sugar. The resultant halwa is as rich and satisfying as the original without the hassle of grating carrots (and fingers inadvertently). The following recipe is of the original method of making Gajar Ka Halwa by grating the carrots.
Gajar ka halwa, is the most representative of desserts from India and an all time favourite. It is primarily made in pure ghee with a lot of dry fruits (cashew, almonds, raisins), juicy red carrots as the main ingredient. It is the most yearned for dessert in India during the winter season.
- 1 kg Red Carrots Fresh Produce
- 1 kg Full Cream Milk
- 3 tbsp Desi Ghee
- 6 pcs Green Cardamom
- pinch Saffron Strands
- handful Almonds soaked overnight, peeled and cut into slivers
- handful Raisins
- handful Cashew
- 100 grams Khoya
Wash the carrots, peel them and grate them with a hand grater.
In a deep thick bottomed wok, put the grated carrots and milk and bring it to boil.
Reduce the heat and let it simmer. Keep on stirring in between till the milk evaporates.
Now add khoya, ghee, sugar and powdered green cardamom
Continue to keep on stirring till the ghee evaporates.
For garnish, add the dry fruits. Gajar ka Halwa is ready to be served. It is ideally served hot.
- To make the halwa more rich, you can put condensed milk instead of full cream milk.
- As condensed milk is already sweet, the additional sugar should be adjusted accordingly.