Some dishes never lose their glory nor they are ever out of trend, one such classic dessert is Gajar Ka Halwa. The winter season in North India is so incomplete without homemade gajar ka halwa. The seasonal juicy, long, deep-orange carrots are the soul of a deliciously perfect gajar ka halwa. These winter carrots have altogether different taste and texture than the regular small carrots; with a hint of natural sweetness, these are just perfect for making carrot halwa.
I have some sweet memories related to Gajar Ka Halwa back from childhood when loads of carrots use to come from our farm. The ladies and kids in the family used to sit in a circle and grate carrots while basking in the winter sun and munching peanuts. Then my great-grandmother used to cook Gajar Ka Halwa on the wood fire (chullah) and let the gajar halwa simmer in cow’s milk for hours. At night after dinner we all use to relish Gajar Ka Halwa – sometimes I feel spending my childhood in a joint family has taught me so many things like sharing, eating together, socializing and most importantly teamwork.
I have tried different recipes for Gajar Ka Halwa but every time I ended up with a mushed up Gajar Ka Halwa. Then finally I discussed the gajar ka halwa recipe with my aunt (father’s sister) who lives in Nainital and is a fabulous cook. Her husband’s family owns this famous sweet shop in Nainital, Mamu’s from past three generations. So she shared with me this recipe of Gajar Ka Halwa, the way it is cooked in her home and the end result is simply divine! No condensed milk, no milk just three ingredients – carrot, mawa, and sugar. And the best part about this gajar halwa recipe is it is partly cooked in a pressure cooker. That saves a lot of time and effort.
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Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa)
Gajar Ka Halwa made in a pressure cooker without condensed milk.
- 1 kg Carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 Cup Sugar or as per taste
- 1/2 Cup Khoya (Mawa), roughly crumbled
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 2 tablespoon Ghee
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 2 tablespoon sliced dry fruits
- Wash, peel and grate the carrots. While grating carrot use the bigger holes of the grater than the smaller ones to have long strands.
- In a pressure cooker add grated carrots, water and sprinkle sugar on top do not mix.
- Put on the lid and cook the carrots for one whistle. Turn off the heat. And release the steam from the pressure cooker.
- Now heat ghee in a heavy bottomed deep pan.
- Transfer the carrots to the pan. Keep flame on low.
- Keep on roasting the carrots till all the moisture is evaporated and the halwa starts leaving the sides of the pan.
- Add cardamom powder and crumbled mawa.
- Keep on cooking the halwa on low flame stirring frequently for about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and garnish with sliced dry fruits.
- Serve Gajar Ka Halwa warm.
- Gajar Ka Halwa can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 – 2 weeks. Simply reheat in the microwave just before serving.
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