This is a quick and simple recipe for gajar ka halwa. I use a mixture of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and milk powder in my recipe to speed up the time taken to make this delicious and aromatic Indian dessert.
What makes this gajar ka halwa recipe so special?
Traditionally gajar ka halwa is is made by slowly simmering grated carrots in full-fat milk for a long period of time (usually 1.5 to 2 hours). A lot of traditional recipes also use Mawa or Khoya (milk thickened for a long period of time until only milk solids are left behind). However, I find that Mawa/Khoya isn’t easily available outside of India and making it at home can be extremely tedious and cumbersome.
I've found a way to get that same rich creamy thickened milk flavor without spending hours mixing and stirring your halwa!
Using a mix of these 3 ingredients does the following:
- Evaporated milk: This milk product has already been thickened and evaporated for a long period of time which means that this is the perfect shortcut ingredient for this gajar ka halwa!
- Sweetened condensed milk: I love using sweetened condensed milk because it is so thick and sticky and it gives a great texture to the carrot halwa. Again, this too has been cooked for a long time which means less work for you and me!
- Dehydrated milk powder: When milk powder mixes with the milks and the liquid released by the carrots, it creates an amazing texture and acts a perfect replacement for fresh mawa (khoya) in this recipe.
Perfect accompaniments for this gajar ka halwa
I love serving this gajar ka halwa with my home-made vanilla ice cream (Recipe video coming soon!). You could also serve it with other Indian desserts like my home-made gulab jamun recipe. Serve the gulab jamuns warm and the halwa chilled for a perfect hot and cold dessert combination!
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do. Please leave a comment below to let me know what you think and subscribe to my blog if you would like to see more easy and delicious recipes.
Quick gajar ka halwa (carrot halwa)
- 2 pounds carrots coarsely grated (around 900 gms)
- 1 can evaporated milk (the size of the can I use is 12 oz)
- ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
- 3 tablespoons powdered milk
- 25 strands saffron
- ⅓ cup sugar (adjust depending on sweetness of carrots)
- 3 tablespoons ghee
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ cup dried fruit and nuts of your choice (coarsely chopped, see notes)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Heat a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat. Add in the ghee and nuts and toast until just starting to change color. At this point add in the raisins and toast until the nuts are browned and the raisins puff up and turn brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fruit and nuts into a bowl and reserve for garnish.
- Into the same ghee, add in the grated carrots and saute for about 2 minutes. Now cover the pan and cook the carrots on medium heat for around 5 minutes stirring occasionally, until most of the moisture has evaporated.
- Add in the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and milk powder and saffron and cook for another 20 minutes or until the carrots are very soft and most of the moisture has evaporated.
- Now add in the sugar and salt and cook for another 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves completely.
- Finally add in the cardamom powder and mix well just before turning off the heat. Garnish with the reserved fruit and nuts toasted in ghee and serve hot. Carrot halwa tastes amazing when served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.