Gajar Halwa Recipe - Indian Carrot Pudding by Manju Patel

Gajar Halwa is the most popular dessert served in our restaurant. ‘Gajar’ means ‘carrots’ in Gujarati, so this halwa is basically an Indian carrot pudding. The carrots are slow cooked in milk until all the liquid evaporates, which gives this pudding a wonderful flavour and a lovely soft texture. There are many ways to cook halwa; although my method is simple, it does take a little longer than others.

Recipe extracted from Manju’s Cookbook by Manju Patel, published by Ryland Peters & Small (£22). Photography by Clare Winfield © Ryland Peters & Small

Ingredients for Gajar Halwa

How To Make Gajar Halwa

  1. Melt the ghee in a saucepan over a low flame. Add the grated carrot and stir for 3–4 minutes or until the carrots soften.
  2. Add the milk to the pan and cook, stirring continuously, for 10–15 minutes or until the milk has evaporated and the carrots are nice and soft.
  3. Add the sugar and continue stirring until it has dissolved into the carrot mixture. Make sure the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the milk powder, and stir vigorously until it has completely combined with the carrots. Add the ground cardamom and chopped nuts, stir vigorously for 2–3 minutes, then take the pan off the heat.
  5. Transfer the halwa to a plate garnish with a few chopped toasted nuts and edible flowers. Serve either cold or warm with a scoop of ice cream.
  6. TIPS: Try using red carrots, if you can find them, otherwise normal carrots work just fine.
  7. We serve halwa in the restaurant with a very high-quality coconut gelato, however, it tastes just as delicious with vanilla ice cream or even on its own.
  8. If you are planning on serving the halwa cold, you could transfer it to a mould or tray and leave to set, then unmould or cut into squares to serve. 
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