Yes, you got it right 🙂 This is the continuation of my winter enjoyment theme. I am presenting my ultimate-winter delight -Gajar Ka Halwa (known as Carrot Pudding in English). Gajar ka Halwa has been a part of my family’s new year celebrations since my childhood, and it is the same with my husband’s family. I can safely say that I have successfully managed to follow this tradition post my marriage, as both of us (my husband and me) really relish this super-dessert.
Having said this, I have to say that I had to prove my Gajar ka Halwa to my darling hubby 🙂 . I do remember that when I was making it for the first time post marriage, my husband was very much surprised and not at all convinced that I was not going to use ghee (clarified butter) and/or Khoya in it. He was very adamant that I use ghee – we compromised that he has to eat it first and then if he is not happy I will prepare it using ghee. Thankfully my efforts did not go in vain as my darling husband loved it and finished it very quickly 🙂 At this point, I would like to state that I am not against eating ghee. However if I can get the same/superior taste without using ghee, then why not? If not anything, it does makes the Halwa much more healthy !
There are several ways to make carrot halwa if you like shortcuts – you can cook carrot in a pressure cooker / microwave or you can use condensed milk to cut short the process of cooking. However personally I feel the real tastes lies in the traditional way of cooking; the traditional way is more time consuming and requires more efforts due to the occasional stirring but the results are definitely worth the extra efforts. I make this Halwa with only 3 ingredients – milk, carrot and sugar, and takes me nearly 2-3 hours to prepare it.
So, let’s get cracking on it…in the traditional way 🙂
The ingredients for making Gajar Ka Halwa are :
- Carrot : 1.5 kg
- Whole Milk (Full Fat) : 2.250 litre
- Sugar : 2 cups
Firstly wash/peel the carrots and grate them. Squeeze out all the water from the grated carrots by pressing in between with both hands.
Boil the milk in a big heavy bottomed wok (kadai) / pan. When the milk gets to boil, add the grated carrots to it and mix well. Cook this mixture on a medium flame and stir often to prevent it sticking on to the bottom of the pan.
The milk will turn into froth and will start reducing gradually. Continue stirring this mixture and scraping the sides of the wok to remove the evaporated milk solids; add the milk solids back to the cooking mixture.
Cook this milk-carrot mixture till all the milk evaporates and the mixture becomes thick.
Now add sugar and mix well. The mixture again becomes liquid as the sugar melts; hence stir occasionally till all the water dries out and the mixture again becomes thick. Switch off the flame.
Your sumptuous, delicious Gajar ka Halwa is ready to served and enjoyed. Feel free to serve it hot, warm and/or cold.
Insider Tips / Finer Points :
Quantity of sugar will depend on the sweetness of the carrots used, and your own preferred taste; so add sugar accordingly.
You may add evaporated milk solid (Khoya) in this. You can add 150-250 grams Khoya (just before adding sugar and then mix/cook it well till the mixture becomes thick, and then add sugar), but then add little less sugar in the halwa.
Cook the carrot halwa on a medium flame and stir occasionally otherwise it will stick on the bottom of the wok.
You can also serve warm carrot halwa with vanilla ice cream on the top.
If you like you can garnish the carrot halwa with pistachios/ cashew nuts/ raisins/ almonds.