Apart from besan barfi (home made), gaajar (carrot ) halwa remains my favorite Indian dessert. Perhaps because of the way it was prepared in my house. Laboriously, painstakingly, over several hours. The ingredients are simple – the entire preparation takes 2-4 hours depending on the quantity you decide to make.
- Whole Milk (an optional recipe calls for dried milk powder- I think that totally ruins the halwa – which is why it never tasted ‘right’ to me when I had it in restaurants)
- Sugar (either white or brown)
- Elaichi Powder (ground fresh cardamom)
- Dry fruits and nuts (raisins, almonds, pistachios)
- Grate fresh carrots.
- Put milk in a large container on a medium flame.
- Add grated carrots to milk.
- Add a large tablepoon of ghee. Mix it all – and cook on a medium flame.
Keep mixing periodically – let the carrots and milk cook for at least 2 hours. If the milk becomes low, add more milk.
Add sugar. Once most of the milk is gone, add a large tablespoon of sugar. Mix it in – and let it cook on a low flame.
Add elaichi powder (ground cardamom). Mix it in – and let it cook on a low flame.Mix it in – and let it cook on a low flame.
Once all the milk has been absorbed, add a little more ghee and let it cook for another 15-20 minutes on a low flame.
Add dry fruits on top at the very end (pistachio, almond and raisins. Cashews optional)
The Finished Product
Carrot halwa is a delicious dessert that is extremely simple to cook. Although it takes a few hours to make, it lasts a few days – and tastes good even after it has been sitting in the refrigerator for a few days.