Monday, March 16, 2015

Gajjer Ka Halwa

Gajjer Ka Halwa is a dessert/pudding cooked with carrots and milk. Ghee (clarified butter), Khoya (milk solids) and nuts are added for extra richness that's why this scrumptious and grand dessert is known as one of the winter specialties but can be enjoyed at any time of the year. 
Because of living abroad most of the life, we were deprived of finding Pakistani carrots in abundance but my Dad used to get them as a delicacy from the local vegetable market once they were in season and imported. My mother used to make Gajjer Ka Halwa and Gajjeriala (carrot and rice pudding- you will find the recipe of it in my upcoming posts) with those fresh, red, juicy and crunchy carrots that we enjoyed thoroughly. But that doesn't mean that you cannot make this Halwa with any other kind of carrots; you definitely can by all means and shouldn't miss a chance of enjoying this delectable dessert at all! Have it with Chai/tea or Kashmiri Sabz Chai; the combo is simply matchless! :D

Gajjer Ka Halwa and Chai is a lovely combo
Since its a rich dessert that's why for its magnificence, Gajjer Ka Halwa is served at feasts and traditional weddings in Pakistan and India. The exuberance of it is then enhanced by adding assorted nuts and extra Khoya along with hard boiled sliced eggs. I'm not a fan of eggs in my Halwa that's why I never add them but those who like it, say that it enhances the flavors; nothings wrong with experimenting with your palate so maybe someday I'd be brave enough to try it too :D

Khoya (milk solids)

Khoya is an important ingredient of this Halwa which is made by thickening full fat fresh milk over low heat. This is a very long and tedious process that's why people prefer getting it from the milk shops and Halwais (confectioners). But most of the shops make it by using dried whole milk (powder) now-a-days to make things easier for them too. That's why at the places where there is no availability of Khoya possible, it can be easily made at home by using milk powder. I myself had tried experimenting with the Khoya making at home and have managed to come up with some easy and quick alternatives. I shall do a post on them in future, In Sha Allah (God Willing) I have also seen some people making it with Ricotta Cheese as it is similar to Khoya but has less moisture content and can be used as a substitute. 

Halwa cooked without Khoya

But if you do not bother to have it with Khoya, then milk powder can even be directly added to the cooked Halwa as an alternative or just to make life easier, don't add any Khoya/milk powder at all and have it on its own. Believe me, it would still taste delicious and look tempting and would be a little less on the calories as well (calorie part is just to comfort the guilty conscious :P) 

As the Spring is still taking time to arrive so, lets take full advantage of this opportunity by making Gajjer Ka Halwa, fellow Cooks! Let that Dessert Craving get Unleashed! :D

P.S: while I'm jotting down this recipe, my first attempt at making Whole-wheat Cake Rusks just came out of the oven and guess what? you can never tell they're not made with all-purpose flour! allow me to say it myself that they are way better than bakery bought as well, yaay! :D this deserves a pat on the back! :D (cant stop grinning, yeah I know). Will share the recipe after I'm done sharing some of the seasonal treats, In Sha Allah :D 

Gajjer Ka Halwa


Carrots: (washed, peeled, tops and ends removed and grated) 2 Kg/4.40 lbs
Sugar: 1 cup or according to the taste.
Full Fat Milk: 2 cups/500 ml
Ghee/Oil: 1 cup
Khoya: 250 gms (if using milk powder then use 1 cup of it)
Green Cardamoms: 6-8 pods
Chopped mixed nuts: (almonds (peeled), pistachios, cashews, walnuts) for garnishing.
Eggs: (hard boiled) for garnishing (optional)


  1. Put the grated carrots and milk into a heavy-based pot and let them cook over medium heat till the milk dries a little.
  2. Add sugar and mix well. Once sugar melts, it will release moisture. Cook till all the moisture evaporates and carrots are softened and cooked through.
  3. Add ghee/oil, green cardamoms and cook again over medium flame for a few minutes or till the ghee/oil added releases a little. This process is called Bhoonai.
  4. Lower the flame to the lowest and add Khoya (reserve some for garnishing)/milk powder to the Halwa, mix well and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Turn off the flame. Take out into a serving bowl. Garnish with the reserved Khoya (if using) chopped nuts and boiled eggs slices (optional). Serve hot/warm, ideally with Kashmiri Sabz Chai.
       Serves 4-6

That's all my dear followers! :) The amount of sugar and the quantity of Khoya or milk powder can always be adjusted according to your taste and desire. I hope you enjoy making and having it. Until next time, keep sharing the goodness of this greatest blessing, that has been bestowed in abundance upon us the lucky ones, with the less fortunate ones.

Thank you and please remember in your Du'as/prayers! :)

*Not be duplicated, rewritten or published without permission- Thank you!