Gajar No Halvo (Sweetened Carrot Dessert) – Would you like an Indian sweet treat today? Because authentic, creamy and melt in the mouth Indian delicacy is a most certainly a wonderful treat for any occasion. Gajar No Halvo is a mithai which mean ‘sweet dish’ in Gujarati.
Gajar No Halvo is known as Gajar Ka Halwa in Hindi and as Gajrela in other regions of Indian and is a sweetened carrot dessert associated mostly with North India and Pakistan. Gajar No Halvo was first introduced during the Mughal reign in India. The name Halwa originates from Arabic word meaning ‘sweet’ and therefore Gaja Ka Halwa translates as ‘sweet carrot’ or ‘pudding of carrot’. Although it has a strong link to the Punjab region of India, it is unclear if it actually originates from the region. Gajar No Halvo is very popular across the world as a dessert and has many variations such as Red Velvet Halwa, Carrot and Beetroot Halwa, and Cheesy Carrot Halwa.
This mithai is made primary with just a few ingredients which include grated carrots, milk, sugar and ghee. In some Punjabi traditions, butter is used instead of ghee. It is prepared by placing the carrots and milk in a non-stick pan and stirred regularly. The sugar is added once the milk has evaporated and the carrots have reduced in quantity. It is garnished with almonds, cashews and pistachios. Because of its vegetarian characteristics, simple preparation, medium shelf-life and extraordinary taste, Gajar No Halvo is a popular dessert all over India and often served at most festivals.
Usually we purchase Indian sweets from our local Indian sweet mart as they can be very tedious and time consuming to prepare. There are other sweets which we only make at home, and Gajar No Halvo is one which is prepared at home. Gajar No Halvo is usually made in the winter months and eaten hot.
I’ve checked various reputable foodie sites and there is an abundance of recipes and methods to make Gajar No Halvo. While there are many short cuts and quick methods available, I have found that traditional methods of making this mithai yield the richest tastes.
In this recipe I use my mums old age method of making Gajar No Halvo which uses milk, sugar, cardamom powder and very little ghee. We use almond, cashew and pistachio shaving to decorate. The process of preparing Gajar No Halvo in the traditional manner is a slightly lengthy one and requires constant stirring to avoid the milk from burning at the bottom. I used organic carrots when making Gajar No Halvo as they are tender and juicy. You can use any type of carrot but do ensure that they are not dense and fibrous.
Let me know how this goes for you.
Gajar No Halvo (Sweetened Carrot Dessert)
2-3 medium organic carrots
2 tablespoons sugar or to taste requirements
1 tablespoon pure ghee
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
Almond, cashew and pistachio nut shavings to garnish
- Coarsely grate all the carrots and set aside.
- Heat a non-stick pan on high heat for a few minutes. Then lower the heat to medium and add the grated carrots.
- Saute the carrots until they begin to reduce in quantity and size.
- Slowly add the milk and begin to cook the carrots in the milk.
- The milk will begin to heat and curdle. Stir continuously to prevent the carrots and milk from solidifying together.
- Continue to stir until the milk has reduced by at least 80%, then add the sugar and stir into the carrots and milk.
- Continue to stir until the carrots and milk have combined well and the milk has evaporated completed. The halvo should appears a little lumpy and the carrots should at this stage be significantly reduced and have a deep orange colour.
- Add the ghee and stir into the halvo. Turn off the heat but continue to stir.
- Add the cardamom powder and mix well.
- Sprinkle the mixed nut shavings onto the halvo and serve.