Gajar ka Halwa
(Indian, Pakistani sweet carrot pudding)
Gajar ka 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Mound decoratively on a serving plate and serve hot or at room temperature.
Gajar ka 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 cardamom 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.