Carrot Halwa

There is a big story of my experience with preparing this dish first time.

We were in Sydney and invited by one of our friends for Ganesh Chathurthi. We thought of taking some sweet with us. But I did not know how to cook any sweet (because I don’t like any sweets). Then I found “Gajar ka halwa” recipe somewhere. But I did not know how much carrot should be used for that.

We asked one of our friends, and he gave us an idea that 2 kgs of gajar(carrot) will be sufficient, because after cooking, the quantity of halwa will reduce (how convincing). So we bought 2 kgs of carrot & started grating with a tiny cheese grater borrowed from another friend. Believe it or not, I took almost 4-5 hrs to grate the carrot. By the time I finished with it, my hands were paining like anything. We had to reach their house for pooja at 11. It was around 9.30 and I realized the grated carrot was too much. But still I thought I will use all of them. At that time, I realized we were not having such a big vessel. One big vessel was there and that was used by my other friend who had prepared some pongal in that. I told her to remove the pongal from vessel, after that it took me around half an hour to clean the vessel!!!. Then I started cooking halwa. I absolutely had no idea how much time it will take. By some guesswork, I started adding all the ingredients. I did not know whether carrot was cooked or not(because at that time I did not know much of a cooking).

So finally by the time I finished my halwa, it was 12. When we reached their house it was 12.30 and the pooja was already finished. They had a nice laugh when I told my adventure. But the halwa turned out to be superb. It took 10 days for us to finish the remaining halwa, which we kept in refrigerator.

So now whenever I cook this I remember that incident and have a whole hearted laugh.

Without further boring you with my stories, now goes the recipe,

Grated carrot 2 cups
Milk 3 cups
Sugar 2 tbl spns
Cardamom powder 1/4 tea spn
Saffron 4-5 strands
Ghee 1 tbl spn
Cashew nuts 1 tbl spn

Heat milk. When it is boiling, add grated carrot. Cook till carrot is 3/4th done. Add Sugar and ghee. Stir continuously at this stage. Cook till carrot is completely done and halwa becomes thick. Add saffron and cardamom powder. Garnish with cashew nuts fried in ghee. Serve hot or cold.

Serves : 3
Preparation time : 30 min

44 thoughts on “Carrot Halwa”

  1. Shilpa, 4-5 hours to grate the carrots is too long! I made gajjar halwa twice in the recent past, 2.5 lbs each time – which is a little over 1 kg. It took me 8 minutes the first time. The second time I got my 7 year old to help me. It was a trick cos she then thinks she’s helped to make the dish and eats it with a lot of relish. I asked her to peel the carrots and then grate them through to just half the length as I didn’t want her fingers to get scraped along with the carrots as she neared the end! It took her a good 20 minutes before she gave up and I finished the rest of it in less than 5 minutes. I am guessing that you have a grater that grates the carrots real fine. If you do then I’d recommend you switch to one with larger ‘teeth’ (?!).

    If you’re interested, my experience making gajjar halwa in the pressure cooker is documented here.

  2. Hi Manisha,
    Thats right. Our grater was real fine, it was actually a cheese grater and not meant for carrot grating. Now I have a big grater where I can grate real faster !!!.

    1. Shilpa, please let me know what kind of grater should I buy here in the U.S. I would prefer one to grate carrots & other such veggies. Thanks.

  3. Man!!!What a story…I have tonnes of stories like this.SO u are definitely not alone…

    Easy recipe Shilpa..I have made carrot kheer but not halwa ..i made carrot kheer once and it came out well..

  4. Shilpa,

    If you have an indian mixie, there are blades which will help you grate carrots in minutes.It’s worth the investment,not only for this but also for making dosa/idli batter etc.

  5. Actually we have the mixie and good grater both at home now. But when I tried this first time, we were in Sydney, we were there only for a short period. So we had not bought anything. Even the cheese grater, which I used for grating, we had borrowed from one of our friend!!!

  6. Ha! That’s so funny – it reminded me of my carrot halwa story from 5 years ago. It took me 4 hours to grate 24 carrots! The next day i made the halwa – total cooking time of 4 hours waiting for the whole milk to reduce! The result was yummy – but needless to say have never made it again! Found your blog when i was looking for ‘easy recipes!’

  7. This is how i make gajar halwa. I roast the grated carrots in lil ghee and then let the carrots cook in its own juice. Sometimes i add very lil water if required. This way carrots get cooked faster. Once they are cooked i add milk powder and sugar and lil whole milk if required. This gives a rich taste to the carrot halwa and also it gets done quickly. I think if you add cream to the carrots , then also it gets thickened quickly. Milk powder idea I got from Tarla Dalal. She has suggested that in one of her pancake recipe using carrot halwa as stuffing.

  8. this is how i do it..
    i cook the grated carrots in lil ghee and then add sweetened condensed milk…so no need to add sugar and the outcome is really good
    it takes half an hour with grating time included 🙂

  9. Wow! Your story does remind me of myself. A few years ago, inexperienced, but eager to handle difficult recipes. For hours. Fortunately we’ve both got better now;)

  10. My Recipe for Gajar Halwa
    Ingredients :

    2 cups carrots (which I boiled first and grate) so much easier !!
    1/4 cup of Semolina
    2 tablespoons – ghee – few pieces of cinnamon sticks
    1/2 cup of grounded almonds
    1/2 cup sugar
    handful of sultana raisins – if desired
    1 cup fresh cream (optional with milk)
    1 teaspoon fine elachie

    Method :
    Braise your semolina with ghee and cinnamon sticks till slightly brown.
    Add to this your boiled and grated carrots
    and cook for 5-10 minutes.
    Now add to this your grounded almonds and cook for another few minutes.
    Add your raisins and fresh cream and cook till Halwa is nice and thick.
    Add sugar and cover with lid.
    Lastly, sprinkle fine elachie and serve hot.

    1. Champa, it looks lovely, BUT if you need Gluten Free, and lots of us do, it is not oK to use semolina…but it does sound tasty though.

  11. Hi
    I made halwa but it hs become very sweet can something be done to lessen the sugar do let me knoe
    thanks in advance

    Shilpa: You can cook some more carrot in milk and add to it, mix well.

  12. Hi,
    looks like good and easy method…..
    what i do is, first i fry the grated carrot in little ghee till nice spell comes then add milk…

  13. Picture looks good and so colorful. My moms recipe is the same for carrot, bottle gourd (gar dhudhe) and beetroot. She adds grated carrot, sai (cream), sugar and a little milk and let it rest for 15 min. Then keep on high flame till boil and low the flame. This process gets done exactly in 30 min. For garnishing adds silvered almonds and raisins. She finally adds a tbsp or two of ghee for a rich shine.

  14. Hi Shilpa, thank you for the wonderful recipe. I got married recently. This is my second sweet dish. I have recently bought a Braun food processor…believe me, I grated the carrots within 30 seconds.
    I noticed in the recipe that Khoya/ Mawa is not added…I believe that this a simple carrot halwa recipe for beginners like me.
    In another 10 mins, my halwa will be ready… 😉

  15. hai shilpa
    good one i hnow how to make this sweet but still wanted to check the good recipe before i’m making it i saw so many but somehow wanted to click this one and the dessert is good but the incident behind it is the best!!!!!!!

  16. We live in San Diego – very far away from our family and the usual Diwali festivities. I was surfing the ‘net to teach my 4.5 year old about Diwali, and he read about how it is traditional to make sweets on Diwali. He noticed a mention about carrot halwa on the website and asked me to make it for him for Diwlali.

    I have never made this dish in my life, and if I were to be honest, I don’t really know what it’s supposed to taste like! But, the things we mothers will do for our kids!

    I too was about to embark on my very own “grate 2 kgs of carrots” adventure…and am glad to have found your recipe instead! Thank you in advance! Wish me luck!


  17. Tastes even better if the boiling is done and after that the carrot -milk mixture is sauted in ghee with dryfruits of ur choice…..

  18. Hi Shilpa,

    Gajar halwa looks very tempting …. will try n make it sometime soon … just wanted to know what is the exact measure of 1 cup …. thanx 🙂

  19. I would like to give you a tip for gajar halwa.
    Heat ghee in a pan. Saute grated gajar till the water is fully absorbed. Add boiled milk and proceed further as your recipe goes.( The colour of the halwa is wonderful.)



  20. Apropos, response marked nine, yesterday we tried Carrot Halwa with MILK powder, idea was great & IMPLAUSIBLE.

  21. Hi shilpa iam going thru this recipe to make a carrot sweet so i got small doubt here is 2 tbl spns of sugar will be enough for 2 cups of carrot can you reply me fast please.

    1. Add 2 tbl spn of sugar first and if you need more, you can add again after tasting it. Carrot shrinks down after cooking, so even though initially it looks like a lot initially after cooking, it becomes less. Also, since we don’t like too much sweet, I make all my sweets very mild. So change it according to your taste.

  22. Tip: Adding 4-5 teaspoons of fresh grated beetroot to the grated carrots while preparing will enhance the color of the end product – carrot halwa.

  23. Shilpa, wonderful halwa! i ama big fan of gajar ka halwa… and in winters especially, i try to prepare this dish almost 3 times a week. my husband and daughters love this dish thanks for the lovely post and the wonderful recipe.

  24. hi shilpa ,

    today i made 2 dishes from ur site, n tats pakoda n gajar halwa. both r simply delicious. thnks for such amazing site of urs.

  25. I think 3 cups is just too much for this dish. I am trying to make thick halwa for carrot Poli but it’s been an hour and still cooking. Next time, for thick halwa I would only add 2 or 21/4 cups. The carrots get cooked so fast. I am hoping it will taste as yummy as your pic!

  26. Too much milk I think. One hour 45 mins to colete. Taste is good though. Next tine, got to reduce the milk.

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