Gajar ka Halwa, also known by the name "Gajraila" in Pakistan has become a worldwide popular dessert . In India, Gajar ka Halwa is prepared during Diwali, Holi and many other festivals .You can serve warm Gajar ka Halwa as is or you can top warm halwa with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream. It tastes extremely good in either case.
In my house, I am the one who is partial to savory food items while DH and DS have a sweet tooth. Its not that I don't like sweets. Its just that I am very choosy when it comes to sweets. Gajar ka Halwa is one such sweet dish that I loooovee so much:) I don't need any reason (festivals, celebrations etc) to make this amazing dessert. I make it all the time and though it takes some time to cook, it gets over with in no time:) I have learnt this recipe from my mum.
So here is how you can make this dessert..
- Carrots : 4 cups (Grated)
- Clarified butter or Ghee : 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp
- Full Fat Milk : 1.5 cups (See notes *)
- Cashewnuts: 10
- Sliced Almonds : 1 tbsp
- Saffron : 1 pinch
- Sugar : 1 cup ( See Notes **)
- Cardamom powder / Elaichi Powder : 1/2 tsp
- Raisins : 10 ( See Notes ***)
- Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a thick bottomed non-stick pan. Firstly , fry the cashewnuts and set it aside. In the same pan, add the grated carrots and saute them in the same ghee until the rawness of the carrots is gone. It takes about 5- 7 minutes.
- While the carrots are being sauted in ghee, add almonds and saffron to the milk and heat .(I heated the milk in the microwave).
- Now add this milk to the carrots .Mix well and cook them covered.
- When the you see that the carrots have cooked, remove the lid and cook the carrots uncovered. The milk will start to reduce and finally evaporate.
- Once you see that most of the milk has dried up, add the sugar. Keep stirring until all the moisture has evaporated.
- Add in the raisins , cardamom powder and the previously fried cashewnuts. Mix well.
- Lastly add in the remaining 1 tbsp of ghee and mix well.
- Serve hot or warm .
* You can also make this halwa with low fat milk. I have made this dish with low fat milk and it tastes equally good.
** You can adjust the amount of sugar as per the sweetness you desire.