Gajar ka halwa is a sweet dish made of grated carrots with milk and butter. It’s one simple dessert that is delicious to enjoy both hot and cold.
Gajar ka halwa
It is a classic carrot-based dessert from India and Pakistan. The carrots are grated and then slow-cooked until it’s softened and slightly caramelised with sugar and milk.
It’s one of the Pakistani desserts aka mithai/ methai that uses simple ingredients that you almost always have ready.
Just like any other food recipe, there are many ways of making this gajrela.
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Some use milk and ghee, some use cream, some use khoya (dried evaporated milk), etc.
After trying and tweaking many recipes, I’ve now settled on 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.
How to enjoy
Gajar ka halwa – also called gajrela and gajar pak – is a delightful dessert.
And it can be served both cold or hot.
But if you serve it hot, try adding a spoon of ice cream or a drizzle of heavy cream. So this carrot halwa will taste divine. And this is ideal to serve as dessert on winter and cold days.
And if you serve it cold, add lots of chopped nuts to give a bit of crunch.
Promise, you’ll love this for your food spread in summer.
Is Gajar Ka Halwa a healthy dessert?
In honesty, I’m not sure if carrots will have good nutrients after the slow cooking process.
But if we take away that factor, I’d say this Gajar Ka Halwa can be a healthy dessert option providing we don’t put too much sugar in it.
Because pretty much all the ingredients of this carrot-based dessert are good for our health.
Just make sure we go easy on the sugar.
In fact, if you buy this mithai from restaurants or shops it has a high content of sugar. Therefore, I prefer making it myself so I have more control over how much sugar I put in it.
Simple ingredients for the Gajar ka halwa recipe
You don’t really need many items to make this dessert. In fact, you only need seven items to make gajar ka halwa:
- Green cardamoms.
Of all these ingredients, I only need to put a note on the nuts. Basically, you can choose whichever nuts you like.
However, the most common and liked ones are almonds and pistachios.
By all means, you can omit the nut altogether if you have a nut allergy. Trust me, your gajrela will still taste delicious without the nuts.
For my vegan friends, you can choose plant-based milk such as almond milk, rice milk, etc and margarine instead.
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 best thing about this mithai is that you can make it in batch and freeze it.
The night before serving, you can take the frozen gajar ka halwa out of the freezer and leave it in the fridge to thaw overnight.
If you want to serve it hot, you can reheat it in a pan on the stove or in a microwave. But make sure you finish the thawed halwa within three days. And you must not refreeze it.
More recipe ideas for Pakistani desserts
Thank you for reading this Gajar Ka Halwa recipe. I hope you’re now intrigued to try it. If you do try, it will be awesome if you can share what you think about it in the comments below.
Last but not least, don’t forget to check my other recipes for Pakistani desserts that you may also love.
- Besan Ladoo: chickpea flour sweet balls.
- Besan Barfi: chickpea flour fudge.
- Rasmalai: milk dumplings in spiced milk.
- Kheer: the creamy rice pudding.
- Fruit chaat: spiced fruit salad.
Thank you and all the best.
Gajar ka halwa
- Grater or
- Food processor
- Cooking pan with lid.
- Wooden spoon
- 6 carrots (about 2.2 lbs) grated.
- 7 green cardamoms.
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar.
- ¼ teaspoon salt.
- ⅓ cup milk.
- 2-3 tablespoons butter.
- Roasted almond flakes optional.
- Pistachio chopped (optional).
- 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.
- Add the sugar and salt in and cook further until the sugar and salt dissolve.
- Add the milk in and continue cooking until your Gajrela is softly cooked and you can taste a slightly caramelised flavour.
- Lastly, put the butter in your gajar halwa.
- Garnish your gajrela with chopped pistachio and almond flakes if you like. Enjoy.
- For vegan Gajar ka Halwa, you can replace the milk and the butter with vegan options.
Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.