Indian Carrot Pudding or gajar ka halwa (as popularly called) is made in almost all festive occasions and is a very popular Indian Dessert. For most of us, desserts are the ultimate comfort food. Comfort food is a bowlful of something hot or something sweet that soothes you when you feel tired, stressed, sad or sick. You will love the taste of this Indian Carrot Pudding or Gajar ka Halwa recipe. Of course this recipe has been made with orange carrots, since red carrots, as found in India, are not easily available in the United States, but you will enjoy the taste of even this one!!
Traditionally, this halwa is made using condensed milk(known as khoya in India) and ghee, with lots of dry fruits. Another method to prepare the Indian Carrot Pudding or gajar ka halwa is to slowly cook it in whole milk till the mixture thickens. This is a bit tedious and time consuming process.
However, this recipe is a healthier, lighter version and uses reduced fat evaporated milk, flavored with ghee which tastes very nutty like browned butter, but without being too high in calories. Also, since we are using evaporated milk , and evaporated milk is a processed milk from which a large amount of water has been removed, this helps to reduce the cooking time considerably in this recipe. A bit of stirring is required frequently for this Stovetop Carrot pudding. Anyway, you can’t, on eating this, resist one moment of your stoveside- stirring captivity 🙂
- 3 cups finely shredded carrots
- 1.5 cup evaporated milk ( full cream or low fat)
- 2.5 tablespoons clarified butter(also known as ghee) or unsalted butter
- 8 green cardamoms peeled and ground or ¼ tsp cardamom powder
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract( optional)
- ¼ cups + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar ( adjust as per taste)
- 10-12 cashew nuts lightly roasted
- 1 tablespoon golden raisins(optional)
- Heat the ghee in a non-stick pan and saute the carrots for 8-10 minutes, at low medium heat, until the carrots become soft and loses all its moisture.
- Add the evaporated milk and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer till the carrot absorbs all of the milk. Stir and mix in between, especially when the milk comes to a frothing to avoid the mixture sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the mixture thickens and the milk is absorbed, add the cardamom powder, vanilla extract and the sugar. Roughly chop half of the lightly roasted golden cashews and add into the mixture. Stir and mix and let the liquid evaporate. Turn off the gas and garnish the carrot halwa with the remaining thinly sliced cashews and raisins.