Friday, June 10, 2011

Gajar Halwa - Carrot Pudding

When I first tried Gajar Halwa I was highly sceptical that I would like it. Something about the thought of mushy sweet carrots just didn't appeal. But that was until I popped a spoonful into my mouth. And another spoonful. And another spoonful...There is just something delightfully moreish about this Indian dessert. 

I know Indian curries are hugely popular all over the world, but I reckon their sweet dishes are highly underrated. I must admit, when I lived in Auckland I used to go to an 'All you can eat' Indian restaurant just for the sweets. 'All you can eat' Laddu and Barfi, I was in heaven. One day I will get around to attempting to make those kinds of sweets, but they look slightly more complicated than this easy peasy pudding recipe. 

Anyway if you have never tried Gajar Halwa I urge you to give it a try. I guess it's more suited to those with a sweet tooth, but I'm sure you could easily reduce the amount of condensed milk if this is the case. Halwa could also be made with apples instead of carrots, you could even switch the nuts to almonds and use other spices like cloves and cinnamon. Personally I don't stray from this recipe, I also don't stray from the cooking pot, I can't resist second helpings. Thankfully this makes a decent sized batch.


1/4 cup of milk
400g can sweetened condensed milk
5 cups grated carrot, this is approx 750gm or 6 medium carrots
A couple pinches of ground cardamom
A few tablespoons of cashews and/or raisins
A couple of tablespoons of ghee or butter 


Heat the milk in a saucepan until it starts to boil.
Add the condensed milk and carrot.
Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture has become like a thick paste. So, the longer you cook it, the 'drier' it will become. I like to cook it for only about 20 minutes.
Fry the cashews and/or raisins in the ghee, pour on top to garnish.
Serve warm or chilled.

Serves 5