If you are looking for a delicious and unique dessert to make, try this easy Carrot Halwa recipe. This sweet pudding is popular in India and is made with carrots, milk, sugar, ghee, and nuts. It is a great dessert to serve at parties or special occasions.
Indian desserts contain lots of spices, fruits, and vegetables. This gives them a rich and unique flavor that you won't find in other desserts. Halwa is a type of Indian dessert that is made with carrots. It is a sweet and creamy pudding that is made from carrots, milk, sugar, ghee, and nuts.
This simple dessert is great for parties or special occasions or when you're looking to broaden your dessert horizons.
You'll simply take shredded carrots and cook them in milk along with warming spices until they are soft and fork tender. Then, you'll add sugar and cook the mixture until it thickens. Finally, you'll add nuts to give it a crunchy texture, and it's ready to serve!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Ghee - Popular in Indian cooking, ghee is used to toast the cashews and give the base of the pudding a buttery flavor.
- Cashews - Adds a nutty crunch to the dessert.
- Carrots - The main ingredient, carrots add a natural sweetness and creaminess to the pudding along with a natural orange hue.
- Milk - Used to cook the carrots and give the pudding a creamy texture.
- Granulated Sugar - Adds sweetness to the carrot halwa.
- Ground Cardamom - A warm spice used in Indian cooking that pairs well with carrot and adds a subtle floral flavor.
- Salt - Helps balance and enhance the sweet flavors in the dish.
How To Make Carrot Halwa
- Toast the cashews: Add the ghee to a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in the cashews and saute for 5 minutes or until the cashews get toasted and fragrant. Remove using a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Cook the carrots: To the same skillet, add the carrots and cook until they begin to soften. Then, add the milk and cook for 20 minutes or until the milk is almost evaporated.
- Add the sugar and seasonings: Stir in the sugar and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the carrots are fork-tender and soft. Stir in the toasted cashews along with the cardamom powder and salt. Cook for an additional 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
- Garnish and serve: Add the finished pudding to serving bowls and top with additional chopped cashews.
- If the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a tablespoon or two of water and continue cooking.
- Make sure to stir frequently as the pudding cooks so that it doesn't burn on the bottom.
- Cashews cook quickly, so make sure you keep an eye on them and constantly stir to keep them from burning.
- Use additional warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, or cloves.
- Substitute the cashews with other nuts like almonds, pistachios, or pecans.
- Add a tablespoon of rosewater for a floral flavor.
- Add raisins or dried fruit for sweetness and texture.
- Use brown sugar or coconut sugar for a deeper caramel-like flavor.
- Add parsnips in place of the carrots for a different flavor and color.
Storing and Freezing
Storing: This carrot halwa can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
Freezing: Freezing this dessert is not recommended because it will change the texture of the pudding once thawed.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- ⅓ cup ghee
- 1 cup cashews
- 2 pound(s) carrots, large in size, peeled and shredded (about 10 carrots or 6 cups once shredded)
- 3 ½ cups milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. cardamom
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- Heat the ghee in a large skillet over low-medium heat. Then add the cashews and cook for about 5 minutes or until the cashews start to turn a toasty brown color. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cashews from the pan, and set them aside for later.⅓ cup ghee1 cup cashews
- Add the carrots to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the carrots begin to soften.2 pound(s) carrots
- Pour in the milk, and cook for about 20 minutes on low heat or until almost all the milk has evaporated.3 ½ cups milk
- Add the sugar and cook for another 10 minutes or until the carrots have reached the desired consistency.1 cup granulated sugar
- Stir in the toasted cashews, cardamom and salt. Cook for another 5 minutes then serve with additional cashews for garnish if desired.½ tsp. cardamom¼ tsp. kosher salt
- See post for storage options.