Gajar Halwa or carrot halwa is a gluten-free classic Indian dessert made with – grated carrots, khoya (evaporated milk), milk and sugar. This no ghee carrot halwa recipe is a family heirloom that requires only 10 minutes in an instant pot or pressure cooker.
About Gajar Halwa…
Some dishes never lose their glory nor they are ever out of trend, one such classic dessert is carrot halwa.
In India, the carrot is called ‘gajar’ in Hindi. Halwa in Indian cuisine usually refers to a soft-textured pudding-like sweet dish cooked in milk and a fat, sweetened with sugar or jaggery. A halwa can be of anything like the one with semolina (suji halwa), pineapple (pineapple halwa) and so on.
Hence, carrot halwa is also known as gajar ka halwa.
The winter season in North India is incomplete without homemade gajar ka halwa or gajrela.
Texture: The texture of the carrot halwa is not completely smooth. It is bot coarse. The carrots are grated manually (use the bigger holes of the grater) for the halwa to get that perfect texture and not done in a food processor.
Carrots: The winter special juicy, long, deep-orange carrots are the soul of a deliciously perfect carrot halwa. These winter carrots have altogether different taste and texture than the regular small carrots; with a hint of natural sweetness.
What Is So Special About My Carrot Halwa Recipe?
- No Ghee (Clarified Butter) Required
- No Condensed Milk or Cream
- Only 5-Ingredients Recipe
- 100% Gluten-Free
- 10 Minutes Instant Pot Recipe
Carrot – For making halwa start off with choosing the carrots that are young and juicy. Avoid making this sweet dish when carrots are not in season. As the taste of seasonal carrots makes a lot of difference to the halwa.
Khoya/Mawa – Khoa is a popular form of evaporated milk used in the Indian subcontinent. You can substitute it with unsweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk or heavy cream.
White Sugar – Feel free to use light brown sugar, jaggery or if you are using sweetened condensed milk then skip adding white sugar.
Cardamom Powder – It gives a sweet aroma and taste to the halwa. If you do not have cardamom powder, crush 4 cardamoms using a rolling pin and use the same.
Milk – Adding milk in the recipe is optional. One, always use the full-fat milk for this halwa recipe. Second, you can replace regular milk with almond or cashew milk.
Instant Pot Carrot Halwa
Instant Pot Carrot Halwa requires only 10 minutes this includes sauteing and cooking time.
Add grated carrot, sugar and 1/4 cup water in the inner pot (images 1 & 2). Seal the lid. Set the PRESSURE COOK mode for 5 minutes.
Release the steam by moving the pressure valve to VENTING. Next, set the SAUTE mode for 5 minutes.
Add milk and saute the carrot halwa by continuously stirring to evaporate all the liquid (image 3 & 4).
Once halwa is completely dry, add the cardamom powder and crumbled khoya. Mix nicely. Carrot Halwa is ready to serve.
FAQ’s Related To Carrot Halwa
How Many Days Can We Store Carrot Halwa?
Carrot halwa can be stored for 15 – 20 days in the fridge. You can freeze it for 6 months. Freezing the halwa is not a good idea because it loses its texture and taste. Do not leave carrot halwa with dairy products at room temperature for more than 1 – 2 hours.
What Type Of Carrot Is Perfect To Make Carrot Halwa?
In India, authentic carrot halwa is made using the long, red carrots available only during the winter season (refer video). However, you can use the other variety of carrots available in the market to make a carrot halwa. But pick your carrots wisely, check if they are tender and less fibrous, this ensures your halwa tastes the best.
Why Does Carrot Halwa Turn Black?
Frying the grated carrots in ghee for too long often changes the color of the carrots to black. Cook carrots with milk until soft. Or if you store grated carrots in a plastic bag for too long, halwa might turn black.
Is Carrot Halwa Gluten-Free?
Yes, carrot halwa is a gluten-free dessert with ingredients like carrots, milk, khoya, sugar, ghee, and nuts there is no addition of gluten.
Step-By-Step Carrot Halwa Video:
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Gajar Halwa Recipe (Carrot Halwa)
- Heavy Bottom Kadhai
- 500 gram carrot
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 Cup Water, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 100 gram Khoya/Mawa
- 2 tablespoon sliced dry fruits (for garnish)
- 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 stovetop pressure cooker add grated carrots, water and sprinkle sugar on top do not mix. Close the lid and cook the carrots for one whistle over low heat. After one whistle, turn off the heat. And release the steam manually from the pressure cooker.
- Heat a heavy-duty pan. Transfer the carrots to the pan along with milk. Keep flame on low. Start roasting the carrots till all the moisture is evaporated/absorbed by the carrots and the halwa starts leaving the sides of the pan.
- Add cardamom powder and crumbled khoya. Mix nicely. Keep on cooking the halwa on low flame stirring frequently for the next 5 – 10 minutes or till khoya is nicely combined with the carrots. Turn off the heat.
- Garnish carrot halwa with sliced pistachio and almonds. If you prefer, fry sliced dry fruits in a tablespoon of ghee for garnishing the halwa.
- Serve Gajar Ka Halwa warm.
- Make sure to use big holes of the grater to grate carrots for the halwa.
- Avoid keeping grated carrots in a plastic bag or openly for a longer duration. Halwa might turn black.
- One whistle over low heat is enough to cook carrots and release their juices.
- While frying the halwa make sure the gas flame is always between low – medium temperature range.
- Continuously, stir the halwa while frying else it might not get evenly cooked.
- Do not add khoya (mawa) until carrots are completely dry or start sticking to the base of the pan.
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