Thursday 7 March 2019

Gajar ka halwa | Gajar Halwa | Carrot Halwa Recipe | Easy Carrot Halwa recipe with full fat milk

Gajar ha Halwa is a traditional Indian dessert made with fresh red (Delhi) carrots, milk and sugar and of course some ghee. It is a winter delicacy as these carrots can be seen in market only during winters and especially in North India. It is a rare sight in the South. These carrots (most of them) are juicy and very yum to have as such, my little one loves to munch on them :) And the other special dish that can be made using them is this Carrot halwa or Gajar ka Halwa. I have also posted a Carrot Pudding last year using the same variety of carrots. If you are not able to find the red Delhi carrots but still would love to enjoy some halwa, go ahead and prepare with the normal carrots at hand. They too taste yum :)

This dish is a common sight in many weddings and so often you can find it in the Indian dessert section in the restaurant buffets. One of the best combos that you can go for is pair this halwa with a dollop of ice cream. I just love that combination. If you are not in a mood or like to have too much sweet, then this is an ideal way as the ice cream balances the sweetness of the halwa yet giving a rich feel :) 

There are many variations to this recipe, like using condensed milk or khoya. The richness varies with each variant. I & my family prefer it using full fat milk and hence the recipe I'm posting today is also the same. I always make this halwa using a heavy bottomed vessel but you can very well prepare it using pressure cooker or in a microwave as well. Somehow I believe the taste is a notch higher when you prepare the traditional way in a pan rather than pressure cook. 

Some tips that I follow to get my halwa great :)

1. Whenever available use red (Delhi) carrots to make this halwa. Also choose fresh carrots that are tender and juicy. Do not keep in fridge for a few days before you make it. Choosing it as fresh as possible makes a great halwa

2. Grate the carrots to medium thickness. Too thin will make your halwa mushy and too little in quantity. Preferably grate them using a hand held grater. Food processors make your life easier, but trust me, doing some things the traditional way will bring out better results :) After all, it's not everyday that we get to make the halwa, right :)

3. Some recipe calls for frying the carrot before adding milk. But that changes the colour of the halwa and I like the taste better when the carrots are not fried but just cooked in simmer in full fat milk

4. They stay good for a week in the fridge. You can serve hot or cold. If you like to serve warm, then microwave for a minute or two before serving

Serves: 3 persons

I Took: 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

I Used:

Delhi Carrots - 1 cup (heaped)
Full fat Milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 6 tbsp
Cardamom Powder
1 tbsp + 2-3 tbsp for frying cashews
½ tsp
Cashew Nuts - 10-12 nos

The Way:

1. Rinse the carrots well in water. Then peel them and trim their ends

2. Grate them to medium thickness using a hand held grater (preferably) or a food processor

3. In a heavy bottomed pan (or kadai) add the grated carrots and milk and allow them to come to a boil on a medium heat. Then simmer

4. While on simmer, keep an eye, stirring in between. The carrots will cook in the milk and the milk will start to reduce and evaporate

5. When the milk has almost reduced, add the sugar, ghee and cardamom powder. 

6. Stir well and continue to cook on simmer, stirring in between 

7. In the meantime, heat ghee (around 2-3 tbsp) in a tadka pan. Fry the cashews on a low flame. Take care not to burn. Once they turn colour to golden, switch off the flame

8. Once all the milk is evaporated and the halwa becomes dry, add the fried cashews. Give a stir and switch off the flame

Serve warm or cold. Can garnish with more almonds, nuts or other dry fruits before serving !