An overhead shot of carrot halwa served in white bowls.
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Gajar Halwa

Make this mouth-watering Gajar Halwa or Carrot Halwa in around 30 minutes. No more toiling in the kitchen for hours!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Delicious, Festival food, Quick
Method Instant Pot, Slow cooker, Stovetop
Diet Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 326kcal
Author Anushree Shetty

Ingredients

  • 8 cups grated carrot approximately 2 lbs carrot
  • 1/2 cup ghee clarified butter
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup condensed milk see notes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder elaichi powder
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 tablespoon cashews chopped
  • 1 tablespoon almonds chopped

Instructions

Stovetop method

  • Add ghee to a deep dish kadhai (or wok) and heat it over medium heat. Add grated carrots and sauté them for 8-10 minutes.
  • Add sugar and mix well. 
  • Add milk and condensed milk and mix well; Continue to cook while stirring occasionally till the milk gets absorbed and the mixture has thickened (takes around 15-20 minutes).
  • Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a pan and fry the cashew nuts, almonds, and raisins until golden.
  • Add the roasted nuts along with cardamom powder to the carrot halwa mixture; mix well and serve warm.

Instant Pot method - Slow cook method

  • Add ghee in the steel insert of the Instant Pot and press the Saute function. Press the Adjust button to move the selection to “Normal” and wait till the display reads “Hot.” Add grated carrots and sauté them for 8-10 minutes.
  • Add sugar and mix well.
  • Add milk and condensed milk and mix well; Cover and choose the slow cook option. Set it in the “Normal” mode. Adjust the time to 2 hours. Make sure the vent is always at Venting before you begin slow cooking.
  • As the cooking cycle comes to an end, heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a pan and fry the cashew nuts, almonds, and raisins until golden.
  • Once the cooking is done, open the Instant pot and press the Saute function. Press the Adjust button to move the selection to “Normal”. Saute again for 4-5 minutes till carrot halwa mixture has thickened as desired.
  • Add the roasted nuts and cardamom powder to the carrot halwa mixture; mix well and serve hot.

Instant Pot - Sauté function

  • Add ghee to the steel insert of the Instant Pot and press the Saute function. Press the Adjust button to move the selection to "low" and wait till the display reads "Hot."
  • Add grated carrots and sauté them for 8-10 minutes. Add sugar and mix well.
  • Add milk and condensed milk and mix well; continue to cook till the milk gets absorbed and the mixture has thickened (takes around 15-20 minutes).
  • Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a pan and fry the cashew nuts, almonds, and raisins until golden.
  • Add the roasted nuts and cardamom powder to the carrot halwa mixture; mix well and serve warm.

Notes

Tips for great tasting (and looking) carrot halwa - 

  1. Grate the carrots by hand or using the grating blade on your food processor. Don't grind the carrots in a blender. 
  2. Don't pressure cook the halwa. Either slow cook or saute it as mentioned above.
  3. [Time-saving tip] - use baby carrots (if available), they not only taste delicious, you'll also don't have to peel or wash them. 
  4. If you do not want to use condensed milk, you can substitute with 1/2 cup of milk. Also, using condensed milk makes it creamier. If not using condensed milk you may need to increase the amount of sugar by a tablespoon (or as per taste).
  5. Khoya - Replace both milk and condensed milk with about 2 cups of store-bought khoya. Add the khoya after the carrots have been stir-fried. Khoya is evaporated milk made my cooking/stirring milk till all the liquid has evaporated and milk solids are left behind. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 472mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 17765IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 1.4mg