Gajar ka halwa defines winter in India. The season is not complete until you've relished bowlfuls of this soothing sweet dish. While it can be made all throughout the year, it is particularly enjoyed during the winter season. Also known as gajrela, it is a carrot-based Indian sweet dish. Grated orange carrots are slow-cooked with milk, sugar and ghee. The end result is succulent milk-soaked carrots, which can be enjoyed both warm and cold but ideally warm. The bright orange finished product is equally pleasing to see as it is to taste.
Halwa, an Arabic word which means sweet, refers to dense desserts and was introduced to the subcontinent by Arab and Persian invaders. Carrots, originally purple in colour, were indigenous to Afghanistan. While there are conflicting theories about whether the orange carrot was a human intervention or natural mutation, they came into being around the 17th century. It was around the same time when the Mughal Empire was at its prime. The Mughals encouraged international trade which brought the bright orange carrot to the Indian subcontient. Cooks in the pre-Partition Punjab Province experimented with this naturally sweet and non-sticky variety of carrot and thus gajar ka halwa was born. Today, this nutritious, melt-in-the-mouth dessert has fans not only in Pakistan and India but across the world.
Whether there is a special celebration or you simply want to indulge your sweet tooth, gajar ka halwa is the perfect dessert for any occasion. In this Hindi recipe video, Gurdip Kohli Punj shows you how to make the carrot halwa recipe using khoya.
Click here for the step-by-step carrot halwa recipe and list of ingredients.
To make any dish as it is traditionally, we turn to our moms. After all, it's they who inherit recipes passed on through generations that keep the traditional style of cooking intact. Chef Vineet Manocha, Corporate Chef, Lite Bite Foods shares with us his mom's carrot halwa recipe that makes use of milk. Click here for the full carrot halwa recipe.
Word of caution, the traditional carrot halwa recipe is not for those in a hurry. This is one of those sweet recipes that call for a whole lot of patience and a lot of stirring! Gajar ka halwa will turn out perfect only when slow-cooked. You also need to make sure the grated carrots are absolutely dry before starting with the carrot halwa recipe. Click here for more expert tips to get your carrot halwa recipe exactly right.
Gajar ka halwa is not the most ideal sweet dish for those watching their weight. Even vegans can't enjoy this dessert thanks to all that milk. But you can easily substitute milk and sugar in the carrot halwa recipe with other alternatives. So whether you're looking to shed the kilos or your diet choices don't allow milk-based products, you can still enjoy gajar ka halwa. Read this to find out how!
When you're hosting guests for a festive party or celebration, the simple version of a dish just won't do. That's where the unique take that LF chefs give to recipes comes in. In this Hindi recipe video, Chef Ranveer Brar shows you to make rice balls stuffed with gajar ka halwa.
Click here for the step-by-step recipe and list of ingredients.
Talking of unique takes to a traditional recipe, check out these sweet recipes that make a whole new dessert out of gajar ka halwa. We are talking mousse, cakes and tarts! Also give this gajar halwa cheesecake recipe a try:
Most Indian sweets are animal milk-based and use milk products depriving vegans of their goodness. But these can easily be replaced with a substitute. Here's a list of sweet recipes of Indian desserts in their vegan avatar.
Whether you're vegan or watching your weight, you don't have to deprive yourself of Indian sweets. Here are some more sweet recipes of Indian sweet dishes without using butter and ghee.
Gajar ka halwa is not the only dessert made using a vegetable. Here's a list of dessert recipes that you can make using vegetables.
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