Gajar ka halwa

Gajar ka halwa, also known as gajorer halua, gajrela, gajar pak, and carrot halwa[1][2][3] is a carrot-based sweet dessert pudding made by placing grated carrots in a pot containing a specific amount of water, milk and sugar, cardamom and then cooking while stirring regularly. It is often served with a garnish of almonds and pistachios.[4] The nuts and other items used are first sautéed in ghee, a type of clarified butter from the Indian subcontinent.[5]

Gajar ka halwa
Alternative namesGajar ka Meetha Pak, gajrela, gajorer halwa gazoror halwa, carrot pudding, carrot halwa, Gajar Pak
Place of originIndian subcontinent
Region or stateIndian subcontinent
Associated cuisineIndia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal
Serving temperatureHot or cold
Main ingredientsCarrots, milk, water, ghee, sugar, khoya
VariationsBlack carrot halwa, red carrot halwa, carrot and beetroot halwa, cheesy carrot halwa

The dessert is traditionally eaten during all of the festivals in India, mainly on the occasion of Diwali,[6] Holi, Eid al-Fitr and Raksha Bandhan.[7] It is served hot during the winter.[8]


Gajar ka halwa is a combination of nuts, milk, sugar, khoya and ghee with grated carrot. It is a light nutritious dessert with less fat (a minimum of 10.03% and an average of 12.19%) than many other typical sweet from the Indian subcontinent.[9] Gajar halwa has a medium shelf life so it is now sometimes exported.

At festival time many people prefer vegetarian dishes as well as desserts in their Thali. Because of its low fat content, vegetarian characteristics, ease of making, medium shelf-life and taste Gajar ka halwa is a popular dessert all over India and often served at most festivals. The dish is popular among adults as well as children. In 300 grams of gajar halwa there are 268 calories (76 come from fat, 180 from carbohydrate and 16 from protein).[10]


Gajar ka Halwa or Gajar Pak[11] is made from carrot (in Hindi: gajar) .[12][13] Gajar ka halwa originally contained carrots, milk and ghee but nowadays includes many other ingredients like mava (khoya).[14] Being a combination of milk and carrots it is known as milk flavored gajar ka halwa but in the other case, the combination of cream or mava (khoya) and carrot is described as mava flavored gajar ka halwa.[15]

Recipe and ingredients

The main ingredients of gajar ka halwa are freshly grated carrots, milk, sugar, cardamom, khoya, and ghee. The quantity and quality may vary according to personal taste. In the sugar free variant, sugar is excluded from the recipe.[16] For cooking gajar ka halwa, a cooker or kadai is usually preferred. Vasundhara Chauhan, writing for The Hindu, writes that gajar ka halwa should be slow-cooked and that using a pressure cooker spoils the dish.[17] Carrots must first be grated and then dried before cooking. The grated carrots are then put into a heated pan with a specific amount of milk or khoya and sugar. After stirring for 4–5 minutes, roughly chopped cashew nuts are added and 10–15 minutes later a specific amount of pure ghee is added as well. Finally, it is often served with a garnish of almonds and pistachios.[18]


Gajar ka Halwa as mithai (red discs present in middle)
Gajar ka halwa served with kheer

In the carrot-papaya halwa, equal amounts of carrot and papaya are used. First, a mixture of carrot and papaya scrapings is prepared. This mixture is fried in a kadai or a cooker with ghee for about five minutes. The rest of the process is same as the basic recipe. This recipe has become popular lately because papaya is added to it which provides a different flavor and taste compared to the regular gajar ka halwa.[19] Red velvet carrot halwa is another famous variation of the gajar ka halwa. It is made by heating a comparatively large amount of milk cream along with carrots, sugar, rose water and saffron over low flame.[20] Red velvet carrot halwa is also a very good source of vitamin A and calcium.

Other lesser-known variations include Carrot and beetroot halwa, cheese gajar ka halwa, khajur gajar ka halwa and carrot dessert. These variations vary in popularity by regional/personal preferences, with the traditional gajar ka halwa being most popular. In the carrot and beetroot halwa, grated beetroot is added to grated carrots and this mixture is heated in a kadai on a low flame and further a specific amount of mava and sugar per choice is added to it. After 30 minutes of stirring and cooking, carrot and beetroot halwa is ready to be served. Cheese gajar ka halwa is prepared with a combination of purple carrots and ricotta. This dish is popular in northern India because purple carrots are mostly grown there.[21]

See also


  1. Recipe: Carrot Halwa
  2. Julie Sahni (1985). Classic Punjabi vegetarian and Grain Cooking. HarperCollins. p. 512. ISBN 0-688-04995-8.
  3. "Gajar Ka Gajrela". NDTV Cooks. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  4. "Carrot Halwa Panna Cotta". Gulfnews. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  5. Leverkuhn, A. "What is Carrot Halwa". Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  6. Palusci, Oriana (2010). English, But Not Quite: Locating Linguistic Diversity. Tangram Ediz. Scientifiche. ISBN 978-88-6458-007-4.
  7. "- Nanakfoods "Gajar Halwa on Festivals"" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  8. "Recipe Khajur Gajar Halwa Carrot and Date Pudding with Coconut and Cardamom on Winter". Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  9. Deepti Pathak. Chef. "how to make perfect Gajar ka halwa". YouTube. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  10. "Nutrition Facts". Quitehealthy. Archived from the original on 1 February 2013.
  11. Chauhan, D. V. S. (1968). Vegetable Production in India. Ram Prasad.
  12. Rosen, Diana. "Carrot Halwa". Archived from the original on 31 May 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  13. Sharma, Vaishali. "Gajar ka Halwa (Sweet Carrot Pudding)". Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  14. Penny Isaacs; Sarah Lockett (14 February 2009). The Dish. Troubador Publishing Ltd. p. 139. ISBN 9781848761018. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  15. The Raman family (2012). "Carrot halwa Veg". Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  16. univc. "Sugar free Gajar Halwa". Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  17. "Vasundhara Chauhan Article72932". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2 January 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  18. Procopio, Michael. "Carrot Pudding". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  19. "Carrot Papaya Halwa". Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  20. Gupta, Sonia. "Red velvet gajar halwa". Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  21. Sahni, Chetna (28 March 2009). "A Mad Tea Party". Retrieved 28 September 2012.

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