Gajar ka halwa – easy carrot halwa Pakistani recipe

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Gajar ka halwa

Gajar ka halwa is a slow-cooked carrot dessert from India and Pakistan. The carrots are grated and then cooked until it’s softened and slightly caramelised with the sugar and the milk.

It’s one of the Pakistani desserts that I fell in love with straight away. The only problem is that most of the halwa that we get from the shop or restaurants is a bit too sweet. So I can’t really have it a lot. Because it’s not good for your health, is it?

a bowl of gajar ka halwa with overlay text

Therefore I tried to learn how to make it myself so that I can adjust the sugar without losing the deliciousness of gajar halwa. 

I tried many recipes. Just like any other food recipes, there are many ways of making this carrot-based dessert.

But after tweaking a few different recipes, I’ve now settled with the recipe I’m sharing with you here. This recipe is based on the ones I learned from my Pakistani family and friends. It’s a simple and easy carrot halwa recipe that uses less sugar

carrot halwa in a white oval dish

How to enjoy Gajar Halwa

Gajar halwa is a delightful dessert. Because it can be enjoyed as it is either cold or hot. And you can also have it with cold cream or ice cream.

I love its unique soft texture. And when you have hot gajar ka halwa with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this carrot halwa just tastes divine.

Simple ingredients for Gajar ka halwa recipe

Carrots

Needless to say, carrots are the number one ingredient for gajar ka halwa. Otherwise, the name won’t bear gajar which literally means carrots 😊.

Sugar and salt

You only need about ⅓ cup of sugar with ½ tsp of salt. So you don’t really have to spend extra on this one.

Green cardamoms

This spice gives aroma. Some people take out the seeds and just put the cardamom seeds when cooking the carrots. I sometimes do, but often don’t.

Milk

Regular whole milk will be good. But of course, you can use semi-skimmed milk. For vegan gajar halwa, you can use vegan milk options such as almond milk, etc.

Butter

Traditionally, Pakistanis and Indians put ghee instead of butter. I personally prefer butter as I’m not keen on ghee. But this recipe is very forgiving. You can always swap to ghee if that’s what you like.

For vegan gajar halwa, you can substitute the butter with margarine or almond butter.

Almond and/or pistachio (optional)

You don’t really have to use almond or pistachio. Especially if you have a nut allergy. But if you’re okay with these nuts, you can chop some of them and sprinkle over the gajar halwa just before serving. 

a dish of gajar halwa - pakistani carrot halwa

Easy way to make carrot halwa

Firstly, you grate the carrots. And you can do so by using a regular grater, or a food processor.

Secondly, you cook the carrots with the cardamom pods until it gets softened and all the liquid from the carrots evaporates.

Thirdly, add the sugar, salt and milk in. And cook the carrot halwa until all the milk dries up and the carrots become soft, a bit caramelised and have the aroma of cardamom. 

Lastly, put the butter in and sprinkle the chopped pistachio or almond flakes just before serving. 

The recipe

gajar ka halwa

Gajar ka halwa

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Gajar ka halwa is a slow-cooked dessert from Pakistan and India. It's a delightful dessert to enjoy either hot or cold.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg/ 35.27 oz carrots, grated.
  • 7 green cardamoms.
  • ⅓ cup/ 70 gr/ 2.25 oz granulated sugar.
  • ½ tsp salt.
  • ⅓ cup/ 80 ml/ 2.7 fl.oz. milk.
  • 30 gr/ 1.05 oz butter.
  • Roasted almond flakes (optional).
  • Pistachio, chopped (optional).

Instructions

  1. Put the grated carrots and the green cardamom pods in a cooking pan, and cook at medium-high heat until the carrots get softened and dry. Take care and stir it every now and then. So that the carrots don’t get burnt at the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add the sugar and salt in and cook further until the sugar and salt dissolve.
  3. Add the milk in and continue cooking until your Gajrela is softly cooked and you can taste a slightly caramelised flavour.
  4. Lastly, put the butter in your gajar halwa. 
  5. Garnish your gajrela with chopped pistachio and almond flakes if you like. Enjoy.

Notes

  • For vegan Gajar ka Halwa, you can replace the milk and the butter with vegan options.

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1 Amount Per Serving Calories 194Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 19mgSodium 381mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 5gSugar 16gProtein 5g

The nutrition calculation you find here is just a guide provided by online nutrition calculator. You should not use to substitute advice from nutritionists or health practitioners.

Did you try the recipe?

Share how you like the recipe in the comments below and show a picture of your creation

Related posts

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you’re now intrigued to try the recipe. If you do try, it will be awesome if you can share what you think about it in the comments below. And please feel free to share the recipe to those who may like it, pin it in your Pinterest.

Before you go, don’t forget to check my other recipes that you may also love.

Thank you and all the best.

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