Carrot Halva (Gajar Halwa)

Gajar Halwa (Photo by mtsn/flickr)


500 g/1 lb carrots
60 g/2 oz ghee
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom or 6 drops cardamom extract
375 g/12 oz/1 1/2 cups sugar
125 ml/4 fl oz/1/2 cup hot water
250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup cream
4 tablespoons dried milk powder or khoa
2 tablespoons blanched pistachios or almond slivers
edible silver leaf to garnish (optional)


Wash and peel carrots and grate them finely. Heat ghee in a heavy pan and add the carrots. Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring. Turn heat very low, cover and cook until carrots are soft and almost all the liquid evaporated.

Make a syrup with the sugar and water, add syrup to carrots and stir in the cream and milk powder or khoa, blending well. Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture is thick and comes away from side of pan in one mass. Stir in cardamom. Turn onto a buttered dish, smooth top with buttered foil and allow to cool. Decorate with pistachios or almonds. For a festive occasion, flutter silver leaf onto the surface. Cut into small diamonds or squares for serving.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)