Gajar Halwa (or Carrot Pudding) is an aromatic & delicious Indian dessert made by cooking grated carrots with milk, sugar, cardamoms, almonds & raisins. It is very easy to make this delicious dish in an Instant Pot.
Gajar ka Halwa is one of the most popular Indian desserts. There are different
This is popular during Winter in India. It is usually made using red carrots that is available in colder temperature in India. Making this carrot pudding with red carrots makes it more flavorful. But orange carrots also works great in the recipe.
INSTANT POT or STOVE-TOP
You can make the recipe in Instant Pot as well as on Stove-Top. But making the recipe in Instant Pot is much easier and tastes better than that cooked on a stove-top.
In Instant Pot, you just add everything in the pot and pressure cook it and let Instant Pot do its magic. While on stove-top, it is more time-consuming. First, you have to cook carrots on low-heat and when they turn a little soft, you need to add milk and keep stirring.
GAJAR HALWA (OR CARROT PUDDING) INGREDIENTS
- CARROTS: For making Carrot Halwa, you need big juicy carrots, peeled and grated. You can grate the carrots in a food processor. For better taste, hand grate them using a grater.
- MILK: Adding milk gives a creamy flavor to the dish.
- WATER: I usually don't use water while making Carrot Halwa. But if you add water, you won't get any burn notice. When you cook carrots, they leave the liquid. So, water is not required. But it can help in making the recipe without any mess.
- CARDAMOM SEEDS POWDER: When added with carrots, the cardamom seeds powder gives an amazing flavor to the dish. You can grind it coarsely and just add it over carrots.
- FENNEL SEEDS POWDER: It's not necessary but gives an added flavor. When added with Cardamom Seeds Powder, it makes the dish super aromatic.
- SUGAR: Since it is a sweet dish, sugar is one of the main ingredients. But as carrots are already sweet in taste, I add only a little bit of sugar to the recipe.
- ALMONDS: Almonds are added to give a little bit of crunch to the recipe.
- RAISINS: Give a little sweetness to the recipe and secondly, I like the taste when added in Carrot Halwa.
- SAFFRON: Not necessary to add it in the recipe, but it enhances the aroma. Saffron has a nice fragrance and color. I boil Saffron with a little bit of milk and then add that in the Instant Pot before cooking the gajar ka halwa.
- KHOYA/COCONUT: Usually Carrot Halwa is made with Khoya (dried whole milk). You can also supplement with shredded Coconut. This gives creaminess and a unique flavor to the dish.
- GHEE: Ghee is also an essential ingredient. Ghee brings all the flavors together and thus makes the recipe super yummy.
HOW TO MAKE KHOYA
Khoya or Mawa is made of either whole milk or dried milk thickened by heating in an open iron pan. It can easily be made at home with some Ricotta Cheese. I usually prefer making khoya at home but you can also get it from any Indian grocery stores.
For Making Khoya: Add Ricotta Cheese in a pan and cook it while stirring on low heat. When all the moisture is gone and cheese starts leaving the pan and coming together like a dough - then Koya is ready. You can use it in any Indian desserts (Carrot Halwa, Barfi, Laddo, etc).
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING GAJAR HALWA (OR CARROT PUDDING)
STEP 1 - GRATE CARROTS: You can grate carrots using hand grater or grate in the food processor. Hand grated carrots will tastes more amazing in carrot pudding.
STEP 2 - ADD INGREDIENTS: Add all the ingredients in the instant pot except ghee and nuts. Nuts when pressure cooked becomes soft and will not be crunchy.
STEP 3 - PRESSURE COOK: Pressure cook and once pressure is released open the lid. Stir and add ghee at this time.
STEP 4 - GARNISH & SERVE: Garnish with some fried & chopped nuts and serve Gajrela hot.
Gajar Halwa (Carrot Pudding)
- Saffron Milk: Boil saffron in ¼ Cup of milk on the stove and keep stirring. Once it turns yellow, remove from the stove and keep it aside.
- Using Saute, add Ghee in the inner pot of Instant Po. Once it's hot, add Almonds. Fry them for 1-2 minutes till they change color and remove from the pot.
- Cancel Saute and add grated carrots in the pot. Also add Milk and Saffron Milk in the pot.
- Add water, sugar and powdered Cardamom Seeds & Fennel Seeds and give it a stir.
- Lastly, add Khoya (or shredded Coconut) in the pot and close lid.
- Pressure cook with vent in the sealing position for 2 minutes. When timer beeps after 2 minutes, Quick Release (by setting the vent to the venting position).
- When steam is released and valve goes down, open lid. Add fried Almonds, raisins and leftover ghee to the pot. Stir it well so that everything get combined properly.
- Serve with some more garnished almonds with fennel seeds powder.