As it is officially spring time and Easter is around the corner there tends to be a surge in carrot cake type recipe searches. Don’t get me wrong I have no problem with this as I love carrot cake but I thought I would throw out a different type of recipe which still uses carrots as the main ingredient.
Gajar halwa is a sweet carrot pudding popular in India and traditionally eaten during festival time. I thought it would make for a nice break from cakes and candies as it is a lighter dessert that is often served around springtime.
While living in China one of my favourite restaurants oddly enough was not Chinese but Indian. I loved going there for the inexpensive lunch menu, you got several dishes of deliciously prepared food, a drink and dessert.
There was also a dinner buffet which included a table filled with amazing desserts. One could pick from gulab jaman, kheer (which I wrote about before), barfi and gajar halwa.
Over the years many variations have also become popular such as beetroot halwa, cheese and carrot halwa and sugar free gajar halwa. I decided to cut down on the sugar in my recipe and use coconut sugar which has a lower glycemic count then regular white sugar.
If you prefer to remove the sugar completely add in another half cup of almond milk and reduce cook time by 5-7 minutes. Coconut milk can also be used but add in 1/4 cup water to thin it out.
Gajar halwa is often served warm but it can be chilled before serving which make it an excellent dessert to make a day ahead of time. To finish it off, chopped almonds and pistachios are the most common toppings but some people also add golden raisins.
- 4 Cups grated carrots
- 2½ Cups almond milk
- ¼ Cup coconut sugar
- ½ Tbsp cardamon, if using fresh turn into powder
- ⅓ Cup unsalted cashews, raw or roasted
- ¼ Cup chopped unsalted pistachios
- ¼ Cup chopped unsalted almonds
- 2 Tbsp mild flavoured oil such as sunflower or grapes oil
- ¼ Cup golden raisins (optional)
- Add grated carrots and milk to medium sized pot and mix together.
- Simmer on low-medium heat stirring occasionally for about 15-20 minutes.
- Add in cardamon, sugar and oil once it begins to thicken. Stir to combine.
- Cook until liquids are absorbed completely.
- Add in cashews and stir to combine. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve in small bowls topped with chopped almonds and pistachios.
- Will keep in refrigerator for 3-4 days.