A lazy Sunday afternoon; grandma, freshly laundered clothes, masalas, some pickles, lemons if i remember; all soaking up their share of the bright, pleasantly hot sun. Along with this, mommy leisurely grating the bright red luscious carrots to make what we all loved ‘Gajar Ka Halwa’ . This is how i remember making of Gajar ka Halwa. The grated carrots were simmered without haste on low flame all afternoon under careful watch of mom, and by evening we all got bowl of steaming gajar ka halwa. Velvety and luscious halwa melted like red silk in mouth and inflated the taste buds to the highest level. In between almonds and cashews crunched, making the Halwa just perfect for a cold day dessert.
To this day, Gajar ka halwa takes me back to childhood home, the same furniture, cold evening, the very younger me savoring each bite like all the goodness and pleasures swamped in that very moment of time. Even today, this is some of very few desserts that i can hog on with no shame or guilt.
So when i see carrots that too the red ones in the local market, i had to make Gajar Ka Halwa and I make it the old fashioned way. Slowly and patiently. I use ghee, full cream milk, sugar and Khoya/Mawa; dont get scared of the caloric contents of all these items, they all make the best Gajar ka Halwa ever. Because i could not get Khoya/mawa in market, i made my own! You can very well skip khoya but i believe Khoya is what makes Gajar Ka Halwa the real Gajar Ka Halwa. If you too want to make khoya at home, let me tell you its super easy.
Here is the step by step process of how to make Gajar ka Halwa.
First things first, clean, peal and grate the pretty carrots.
Keep the flame to low and carefully stir milk and carrots all the time. In about 30-35 minutes milk will reduce to 75- 80%. Slice some nuts that you like, i have used cashews, almonds and pistachios, lightly roast and then add to Halwa.
Add sugar at this point and let it melt in halwa. Also add cardamom powder. When halwa is at the consistency you like, add homemade khoya/mawa. Let it cook for additional 3-4 minutes and Halwa is done.
There is nothing like hot Gajar ka Halwa in winters. Enjoy each bite!
- 1/2 Kg red carrots
- 2 cups milk (full cream)
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 3-4 tbsp sugar
- handful of cashew, almonds and pistachios
- 1tsp cardamom powder
- 150 grams Khoya/mawa
- Wash the carrots, peel and grate them.
- In a heavy bottom pan, heat ghee and add grated carrots.
- Let it cook for 3-4 minutes so ghee mixes with carrots.
- Add milk in carrots and bring it to boil.
- Let it simmer on low flame. Carrots will cook in milk slowley.
- Keep stirring the mixture and let it simmer on low heat.
- When carrots are cooked and milk reduces to 75%, add sugar.
- In a separate pan add little ghee and roast the sliced nuts.
- Add the nuts in Halwa along with cardamom powder. By now milk and carrot should be very well mixed.
- Add khoya now and let it melt in Halwa. Cook it for additional 2-3 minutes.
- Keep the consistency you like. Halwa is done now.Serve hot and garnish with more nuts.