Gajar Ka Halva – Carrot Halva

Happy Diwali to all the Indian readers – in India or abroad! Diwali is on the 13th of November this year and it’s a fantastic almost auspicious occasion to make desserts. Gajar ka halwa or Carrot Halva is a classic Indian recipe. 

Halwa or Halva can more or less be described as a pudding – however the meaning of the word halva is “sweet”. For this recipe you grate the carrot and cook it with milk and spices till it becomes soft…when its ready, it almost melts in your mouth. Its a relatively healthy recipe – all you add is sugar and whole milk which can be substituted with reduced fat if you really want it. Also, I used the regular granulated (white) sugar in the recipe but you can try experimenting with brown sugar or substitute some of the sugar with honey or agave nectar. You could serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some vanilla cream sauce.

Diwali – the festival of lights marks many things in the Indian culture. The most common significance of Diwali is the victory of good over evil. This festival falls between mid-October to mid-November every year – it is always on the no moon day and traditionally people use lamps to light up their homes. Diwali is the beginning of new year as per the Hindu calender and unofficially marks the start of winters in India.

May this Diwali bring a lot of love and success in your lives!

Serving for 4

Cooking time 1 hour

Things you will need:

4 cups carrots, peeled and grated

4 cups whole milk

1/2 cup sugar

2 pods cardamom

1/2 cup mixed nuts – cashews, hazelnuts, almonds – slivered and slightly toasted

handful of raisins, optional

1 tbsp clarified butter or ghee, optional

  1. In a deep saucepan over medium low heat bring milk to a simmer.
  2. Add carrots and cardamom to the milk, cover and cook on low for about 1 hour or till the carrot becomes soft.
  3. Add sugar and stir till mixed well. Keep cooking on low.
  4. Taste the halwa to adjust the sweetness. Turn the heat off and mix in the nuts and raisins.
  5. Mix in the clarified butter, serve warm.