Carrot Halwa also called as Gajar ka Halwa is an Indian style sweet pudding made with grated carrots, milk, sugar and nuts.
A warm comforting dessert made popularly during winter months, weddings and Indian festivals. Sharing the Instant pot method, which is relatively simple in process.
Gajar is the hindi word for carrot and carrot halwa is popularly called as gajar ka halwa or gajrela in North India. It is a famous dessert made during the winter months when the bright red carrots are in season.
The traditional way of making carrot halwa is time consuming. The grated carrot and the milk are slow cooked until carrots turn soft and tender. Sugar, ghee, nuts and cardamom are added and cooked further till you reach halwa consistency.
This slow cook method gives you a a very tasty halwa but I am going to share with an easy method of making gajar halwa using instant pot.
Making Gajar ka Halwa in the Instant Pot works for few reasons
- Pressure cooking the carrots and milk in the instant pot significantly cuts down the cooking time.
- The deep instant pot helps from over spilling.
- The halwa is done in under 30 minutes.
Ingredients needed to make Gajar Halwa-
- Carrots ( orange or red) , pick carrots which are tender and less fibrous.
- Sugar ( white sugar)
- Milk, preferbaly whole milk
- Khoya (mawa), milk powder or almond meal
- Ghee, clarified butter
- Cashew and Rasiins or nuts of your choice
- Green Cardamom pods
Step by Step Process –
1)Using a box grater, shred the carrot on the large grating jokes, you can also use a food processor to shred the carrots. Do not use the store bought shredded carrot, they are whey thicker and will not work in this recipe.
2) Turn on the saute mode in your instant put. Heat a tablespoon of ghee and add the cashew and raisins. Remove and set a side.
3) We will have some ghee left in the pan. Now add grated carrot and sauté them for three minutes.
4) Add the milk, give a mix and cancel the sauté mode.
5) Close the instant pot lid and adjust the valve to sealing position. press pressure cook mode ( or manual mode) and cook for five minutes.
6) After two to three minutes do quick release. Use a kitchen towel when doing the quick release to avoid splashing.
The carrot will be tender, but you will observe that still there is a good amount of liquid.
7) Add the sugar and cook for three minutes till it melts, stirring often.
8) Now add the khoya or milk powder or almond powder.
9) Simmer the halwa until all the milk is evaporated, about ten to twelve minutes. Stir continuously to avoid burnt bottom. Now add the ghee and let it melt. It is important to cook and roast the halwa to get that classic taste.
10) Add the cardamom powder and fried nuts. Cook for a minute and turn off the instant pot.
11) The carrot halwa should be glossy and slightly thick with no floating liquid.
12) Enjoy the warm halwa as a dessert.
How to make Vegan Carrot Halwa?
Replace whole milk with almond milk and ghee with vegan butter.
Is Carrot Halwa served hot or cold?
In a North India, halwa is made during winter months and is served warm. In summer you can serve it cold or enjoy warm halwa with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream.
How many days can we store Carrot Halwa?
Store the halwa in a air tight container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Which carrot is good for halwa?
Traditionally Red Delhi carrots are used to make the carrot halwa, but the orange carrots also works.Just pick the ones which are tender, fresh and less fibrous.
Tips to make the best tasting Carrot Halwa –
If available use red carrots, which are tender, fresh and less fibrous.
Grate the carrot by hand, trust me its worth all the effort.
Use full fat milk to get a rich tasting halwa.
Use khoya/milk powder or almond powder to make it thicker and rich tasting halwa.
To avoid burnt bottom, keep stirring the halwa when it is cooking.
More Halwa recipes from the blog –
Carrot Halwa ( Gajar Halwa)
- 5 cups of grated carrot, packed
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ to ¾ cups sugar
start with ½ cup, taste and add accordingly
- ½ cup khoya or milk powder or almond meal
- 3 tbsps ghee
- 2 tablespoon cashew
- 1 tbsp raisins
- 3 cardamom pods, powdered
- Grate the carrot using a box grater ( large holes) or a food processor.
- Turn the instant pot to sauté mode, add a table spoon of ghee and fry the cashew till light brown and raisins plump up. Remove and set a side.
Now add the grated carrot and fry them for three minutes with the left over ghee in the pan.
- Add milk and give a mix and press the cancel button. Close the lid, adjust the valve to the sealing position and pressure cook the carrots for five minutes.
Once done, wait for three minutes and do a quick release.
- The carrot will be soft and will have some liquid. Add the sugar and cook for three minutes.
- Then add the milk powder or mawa or almond meal. Mix it and simmer the halwa till most of the liquid evaporates, about ten minutes.
Keep stirring the halwa to avoid any burnt bottom. It’s important to roast the halwa for that long to get the classic halwai taste.
- Add the rest of the ghee and cook for two minutes.
- Finally add the cardamom powder and fried nuts. Cook for another minute and turn off the heat.
- Enjoy the warm carrot halwa.