I was thinking about what kind of dessert I could offer you that would be great for cold weather and your appetite. Well, it didn’t take me long to realize that carrot halwa is the perfect dessert that will lure you into your kitchen and make you prepare it!
You may know the well-known kind of halwa with its tradition in the Orient which is made from sesame. Or, some of you might even be familiar with the halwa made from sunflower seeds that is very popular in Russian-speaking countries. The Indian kind of halwa, however, is nowhere near the taste, consistency and overall way of preparation of the halwa that you have been enjoying so far.
Indian style of halwa
In India, halwa can be prepared from cereals, fruit or vegetables, and it’s usually full of a generous amount of dried nuts or fruit. Carrot halwa is made by slowly cooking its main ingredients – carrots, ghee, sugar and cardamom in milk – until it reaches the consistency of pudding. Traditionally, cashew nuts and raisins are added to the halwa as well. Sometimes, to make it more “western-like”, I also add smaller chunks of my favorite chocolate. 🙂
Carrot halwa is called gajar ka halwa and is traditionally served during festivities or religious holidays. It is often accompanied by poori (bread dough that puffs up while being deep-fried). It gets its beautiful color from “Delhi carrots” – a red variety of this wonderful vegetable. No matter which kind of carrot you use, as long as they’re full of juice, your halwa will be scrumptious.
There are many ways how to prepare carrot halwa but I prefer making it in a pressure cooker. Not only does it cut down on the cooking time, it also keeps the vitamins and nutrients sealed in. If you don’t have a pressure cooker at home, don’t despair. Any kind of cooking pot (preferably with thicker bottom) and a little bit of your time will do. But don’t worry, you won’t have to be standing in front of the stove all the time; stirring the halwa once in a while is more than sufficient.
For a vegan version of this recipe, use almond milk and vegan butter of your choice. If you’re not fond of sugar, use honey instead.
I’m sure that this recipe is a keeper and you and your kids will simply fall in love with it. I usually have to triple the batch otherwise it’s gone in a couple of minutes!
Let me know how you enjoyed your first bowl of Indian carrot halwa, I’m curious to know! 😉