Thursday, January 26, 2012

Halwa Gajar

Thali, a local restaurant here in Corning NY, serves a delicious carrot dessert, Halwa Gajar, or Gaajar Kaa Halwaa, popular in North India. When they had their luncheon buffet, I would always end my meal with Halwa Gajar. I liked it so much that I searched the Internet, and this is the mixture I came up with that’s closest to Thali’s dessert.

Only seven ingredients (and two of them are optional, but really add to the taste and texture). Don’t you just love recipes that call for so few ingredients!



1-pound shredded carrots
Heaping tablespoon coconut oil (or ghee)
5 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk (can substitute evaporated or sweetened condensed milk)
4 cardamom pods*
Optional: a handful each of raisins and pistachios (you choose the size handful)


1. Saute the shredded carrots in oil or ghee.
2. Stir in sugar. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring often, until sugar melts and paste thickens.

3. Add cardamom and milk. Cook over low heat and stir occasionally until thickens.

4. Add raisins and nuts when ready to serve, warm or chilled.

A few special notes about this recipe:

* Yes, you can “heap” coconut oil because it comes in a slightly solid state.

* I use a small mortar and pestle set to crush the cardamom pods open. Remove the broken pieces of pod and then crush the black seeds. Do not remove the seed shells at this point; just pour it all into the mixture.

* If you shred your carrots by hand, like I do, don’t bother with the last couple of inches. Save your fingers! Slice those ends, steam them, add a bit of butter and/or olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

When you eat your Halwa Gajar, be prepared for a very sweet taste, one that will lure you back for more. Carrots on their own are sweet, but add milk and granulated white sugar. Oh, and did I mention raisins--aka grapes--which are loaded with sugar?


Step by Step in the Kitchen is now on Facebook. Take a look and "Like" the page. I'll be posting extra notes and photos there.


  1. Oh wow you have touched my weak spot - I am a gajar halwa fanatic - your recipe looks amazing so moist and soft and wonderful
    Thank you :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. Aha, my fav choc lady! I'm glad to have found something that wows you as much as your recipes Wow me! You are most welcome.

  3. I have never tried this dessert. It sounds very interesting and yummy. BAM

    1. Bam, if you get a chance to try it, let me know what you think. K

  4. That looks yummy, I never tried a dessert with carrots, but i think i could like it! :) I liked you on facebook ;)

  5. Thanks for the FB like! As for carrot desserts, have you ever had carrot cake with cream cheese frosting? Yum. If you prefer them savory, add them shredded to meatloaf.

  6. Such a fabulous, healthier dessert option. The flavors sound so good!

  7. I'm not sure how healthy it is with all that sugar, Kristen! Thanks for commenting, and I've signed up for email notification on your blog


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