Gajar ka Halwa rings a bell in every Indian’s mind, rather taste buds. I haven’t come across any person whose favourite dessert list doesn’t feature Gajar ka Halwa.
For me, the memories of this lovely dessert go to the not-so-cold winters in Mumbai. My sister and I use to help Mom peel and grate the carrots, and then wait patiently for the bowl of the warm, orange, winter-dessert.
The traditional method is a lengthy one and requires a lot of patience, the very thing I do not possess. So I have 2 quick versions. Also, in Australia, I do not have access to fancy things like khoya (cheesy reduced milk) as a thickener; for me, milk powder does the thing.
- Grated carrots – 2 cups
- Ghee (clarified butter) – 1 tbsp
- Sweetened condensed milk – 1/2 cup
- Milk – 1 cup
- Milk powder – 1/4 cup, adjust quantity as required
- Sugar – if required
- Powdered elaichi (green cardamom)- 1 tsp
- Raisins, almonds, pistachios, cashews – as per choice
- This can be done in either the microwave or the pressure cooker. Both the methods will be time-saving and you can reduce the amount of ghee (or leave it out), or use low-fat milk to make a low-calorie halwa.
- Take a thick-bottomed, glass bowl, with lid. Add ghee and roast the raisins and nuts on HIGH for a minute. (Skip this step if you are leaving the ghee out)
- Remove the nuts from bowl and keep aside. Now add the carrots, condensed milk, and milk. Cook COVERED for 10-12 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.
- Continue cooking until the carrots have softened and almost cooked through. As every microwave differs, cooking times would vary.
- Once carrots have cooked, adjust the consistency with milk powder, adding a spoonful at a time, till the desired thickness is reached.
- Add sugar if you want it sweeter (not quite necessary though).
- Mix in the elaichi powder and garnish with the fried raisins and nuts.
Pressure cooker method
- Follow the same steps. Just add the carrot, milk and condensed milk to a pressure cooker and cook for 3 whistles. (Ensure that the carrot is covered with the milk, adjust quantity accordingly)
- Let the pressure drop gradually. Once the lid opens, keep on low simmer and adjust thickness with milk powder.
- Enhance with elaichi powder and garnish.
- Now the only thing left to do is devour!
I am sure you will be buying carrots on your next trip to the market to try this quick version of gajar ka halwa. If you do, be sure to write me a line how it went. Follow me for more such short-cut recipes and share on social.