Recipes: Sweets

Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot Pudding)

This is a quick version of the traditonal Gajar ka Halwa, usually made in winters when red carrots are found in abundance in India.

I woke up this morning, my head bursting full of fresh ideas, inspiration and knowledge. I had just gotten back from a wonderful weekend spent with 100 people I’ve never met before, yet some I’ve felt like I’ve known since ages. We were all there for a purpose, some more focused than others. And the one common thread that strung us all together was our combined love for eating and sharing of food. It was the first-ever Food Bloggers of Canada Conference, and I know it can’t be the last. It has open many more doors of opportunity and learning, and there can only be ways to climb up from that.

Recipe for Gajar ka Halwa taken from www.hookedonheat.com. Visit site for detailed recipe.

I tuck away my laptop neatly into my backpack. Alongside, I place my notebook, a sticky pad, some markers, a pencil and a pen. And the cookbook I’m currently reviewing. Yes, can’t leave without it. Ends of tiny sticky notes proudly display themselves from pages in between. Evidence that the book had been prodded, probed, and not to mention, marked for its must-try recipes. Just as I’m about to step out the door, I decide to take my camera along as well. I walk the short distance to the cosy cafe around the corner. The air is crisp and birds chirp in almost a sing-song. Finally, signs of Spring. I find myself humming along only to realize a while later, that my iPod is still in its casing in the bag’s front pocket. The song I hear and hum along to must be in my heart then.


I order myself a large cup of Mint Hot Chocolate (the best I’ve had in a long, long time), and a muffin. As I grab my cup, I spot a cosy chair at the corner by the window. Perfect, I say to myself. I set up my laptop, open my notebook to a fresh page and take out my favourite pen. I comfortably settle on the plush leather chair and browse away on my laptop. I make notes as I sip on my drink and nibble at my muffin. It’s been so long since I did it this way that I’d forgotten how much I loved it.

Minutes went by, and before I knew it, I was getting messages from my stomach. I had hardly noticed that it was almost time for lunch. I had spent the past few hours working, just doing what I considered play. An old man walked up to me and asked if I was a writer. I beamed. It’s been long since I was asked that question. I smiled and said yes, along with a few other things. I’m a writer in a more broader sense of the word, I told him. I explained to him that I write about food, simple food, exotic food, everyday food. Food that brings us comfort and pleasure, and also about food in general. I take pictures of everything I cook and most of what I eat, I photograph moments and capture memories. I create and design and make things pretty. Yes, I like having pretty things to look at.

Well then, you must be a food-artist, he said as he smiled and trailed away. Food Artist. Is that what I am? Is there even such a thing? I’d never thought of it that way. A smile lingered on my face as I packed up my things. It was time to head to my kitchen.

Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa)

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Servings: 6
Author: Meena, www.hookedonheat.com

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 4 cups grated carrots
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • a pinch of cardamom seeds powdered
  • 1 cup grated khoya/mava
  • 1/4 cup cashews roughly chopped

Instructions

  • Heat ghee in a non-stick pan and fry the carrots till it gives out all of its moisture, and starts to turn into a darker red colour. Be careful to stir often, so as not to let it burn.
  • Add in sugar and powdered cardamom seeds, and fry for a few minutes till sugar melts, caramelizes and all the moisture dries up.
  • Add in khoya and fry till blended well, stirring often. If for any reason, the khoya starts to melt and the halwa turns creamy, continue to stir-fry till it completely dries up and begins to release oil along the sides.
  • Toss in chopped cashews, and serve warm with a dollop of Vanilla ice cream.

Notes

I prefer using the large red Indian carrots, easily available at any Indian grocery store, to get that luscious red colour and added sweetness as an end result.
Khoya/Mava is a milk product available at Indian grocery stores, often used in Indian sweets. It’s usually prepared by boiling and reducing milk to a semi-solid stage.

If you liked this recipe, you’ll surely like my Dairy-free Gajar Halwa.

Tried this recipe? Leave a Comment and let me know, also Rate it by clicking the number of stars on the recipe card. Want to share your version with me? Tag me on Instagram @hookedonheat

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Aanchal Mehta
    April 15, 2016

    5 stars
    Wow…I love gajar ka halwa…I use to add a lot of khoya and dry fruits in it.

  • Reply
    Tom
    June 18, 2015

    5 stars
    Thanks for the best blog.it was very useful for me.keep sharing such ideas in the future as well!

  • Reply
    Wilbert
    June 18, 2015

    5 stars
    nice! thank so much!

  • Reply
    Rossyjordin
    November 25, 2013

    5 stars
    Yummy..thanks for sharing the blog and especially the Gajar Halwa recipe.. I will try for it definitely!

  • Reply
    Linda
    September 17, 2013

    5 stars
    I love “Gajar Halwa”. It’s being a long time, I haven’t eaten it. I am going to make it, today.

  • Reply
    R
    April 25, 2013

    5 stars
    Hello, Meena, Your recipes look lovely, and the Gajar ka Halwa is mouth-watering!

    I just wanted to let you know that when Khoya was not so readily available in the past, my mother made the dish using ricotta cheese. Since then, we always use ricotta and it works perfectly!

    ~ R

  • Reply
    Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)
    April 21, 2013

    5 stars
    I LOVE that term – “food artist”. You have a great point of view and I look forward to seeing where it takes you!

  • Reply
    kum
    April 17, 2013

    5 stars
    Wow! carrot halwa’s color is out of this world…

    I love carrot halwa, I make vegan carrot halwa with homemade almond milk and raw sugar.

  • Reply
    Helene
    April 16, 2013

    5 stars
    It was so nice to meet everyone at the conference. That man was so sweet, I like that we are Food Artist. And I have never heard of Khoya/Mava, glad I learn what it is.

  • Reply
    A Canadian Foodie
    April 16, 2013

    5 stars
    I cannot imagine the solid milk product. Is it like sweetened condensed milk? I love carrots and cashews and the photo makes me drool! Lovely meeting you on the Sunday, just before we headed for home as you were visiting with Michele!
    🙂
    Valerie

    • Reply
      Meena
      April 17, 2013

      Khoya is nothing like condensed milk. It has more of a semi-firm cheese-like texture (think goat’s cheese) and not much flavour. You can surely find it at any Indian grocery store, generally right beside the paneer and yogurt. I encourage you to try this recipe; it’s not too sweet like most Indian desserts and a close cousin to pudding – especially when served warm.

  • Reply
    Rhonda
    April 16, 2013

    5 stars
    Hi Meena,

    It was great to meet you at FBC 2013 and I look forward to getting to know you better. I am eagerly waiting for the day that I can call myself a food artist :).

    We’ll chat soon.
    Rhonda

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