International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Gajar Halwa

Gajar Halwa Recipe (Indian sweet carrot pudding)

(Indian, Pakistani sweet carrot pudding)

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Average: 4 (7 votes)

Gajar halwa, or carrot halva, is a favorite Indian and Pakistani dessert, a little like a pudding, with a beautiful color and a wonderful sweetness. It is popular at Diwali celebrations and at Indian wedding banquets, where it is often served paired with a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream.

4 to 6 servings


  • Carrots, peeled and grated -- 1 pound
  • Milk -- 2 cups
  • Sugar -- 3/4 to 1 cup
  • Ghee, butter or oil -- 2 tablespoons


  1. Place the carrots and milk in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until the carrots are soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 1 to 2 hours.
  2. Stir in the sugar and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots start to come together in one mass. Stir in the ghee, butter or oil and remove from heat.
  3. Mound decoratively on a serving plate and serve hot or at room temperature.

Gajar Halwa Variations

  • For a richer dessert, heavy cream, half and half or evaporated milk can be substituted for part or all of the milk.
  • In India, dried whole milk, called khoya or mawa, is often stirred into desserts to give them added richness. If you can find it, stir about 1/2 cup into the milk and carrots.
  • Add 1 teaspoon cardomom when you add the sugar.
  • For more flavor and texture, stir in 1/2 cup chopped almonds, cashews, pistachios or raisins toward the end of the cooking time.
  • Try substituting honey for the sugar.
  • For special occasions, this dish is often garnished with edible silver leaf.


This dish was good over all. I had to make an Indian dish for a class presentation and it went over well,and most of everyone enjoyed it. The only problem is that it took me about three hours to make and I had to drain a lot of the milk out still after all that time. It is very sweet though, I'd mabey start with a little less sugar.

We had this gajar halwa at an Indian restaurant in Milwaukee and loved it, so I was happy to find this recipe, although the restaurant's version used cottage cheese. I agree with the other comment; I simmered this for more than four hours, and it still didn't absorb enough liquid. Adding the sugar didn't help matters much, even though I simmered it for more than an hour after that. I finally added 1-1/2 tsp arrowroot starch to thicken it, then added the butter. Aside from that difficulty, the taste was outstanding.

try half and half - qone pint for 4 lbs of shredded carrot and about 8 ozs of cottage cheese. First boils carrots in half and half and then as it thickens add cottage cheese to provide richness to it. Keep stirring and add 1/2 a can of sweetened milk. This will take less time to cook and since all ingredients are pre-cooked and thick this takes only an hour to cook.
Enjoy..also now you may not need sugar as much. taste before adding.

priya from Houston

thanks for your comments. Needed NO sugar. Am diabetic, and all the taste without the added sugar- well, I'm passing this on to my doc, to give to other diabetics!! Thank you!

With two people mentioning too much liquid at the end, I have revised the recipe to call for 2 cups of milk instead of 3. Hopefully that will solve the problem.

Ohhh, M-m-M-M-mmm GOOD! I made this, it turned out perfect! Exactly like the carrot pudding at the local Indian restaurants. Oh joy! I used part milk, part half & half. I cooked it for 1 1/2 hours and followed rest of recipe and it's ecellent! Thank you!

I made this for Indian friends and they loved it! I used my microwave oven to save time and effort as last time I tried an indian recipe using lots of milk, it burnt even with constant stirring. I used a large, steep-sided glass bowl and cooked it for about 40 mins, stirring occasionally. I added a large spoon of extra thick double cream and some butter instead of the ghee as I can't get that where I live. I added a few shelled, ground green cardamoms and sprinkled with slivers of almond. I shall definitely cook this again!