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Carrot Halwa
"Halwa" is an arabic word that means sweet confection. Halwa (also called halva or halvah) is a slightly gelatinous confectionery made with grain-based flour such as wheat or semolina, ground lentils, or grated vegetables such as carrots and beets, cooked with oil or clarified butter (ghee), milk, sugar, and nuts.

The first recipe of halwa appeared in an Arabic book called Kitab al-Tabikh (means "The Book of Dishes") in the early 13th century. This book includes seven variations of the dish. Gradually, halwa became popular across the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Europe, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. People in different countries created their own versions of the recipe and flavored it with variety of nuts and dried fruits available to them. In the United States, halwa is most likely found in specialty stores, such as Persian, Greek, or Jewish markets.

In this recipe, grated carrots are first fried in canola oil and then slowly cooked in whole milk until the carrots are tender and milk evaporates. The carrot-milk mixture is then cooked with sugar and nuts to combine all ingredients together and create a delicious sweet dish - Carrot Halwa. Cardamom powder is also added to the dish for enhanced flavor and aroma. The dish is also popular as Gajar Halwa (Gajar is Hindi for carrot) in the Indian subcontinent.

Happy Cooking!
Serves 6 to 8
4 cups (8 oz cup), peeled and grated
Whole Milk
5 cups (8 Oz cup)
Cashew Nuts
8 to 10, slit into half
Cardamom Powder
1/2 teaspoon
Canola Oil
3 tablespoons
1/2 cup (8 oz cup)
2 teaspoons
8 to 10, shelled and thinly sliced
Step 1
Set a thick-bottomed, preferably a non-stick pan on medium heat. Add the canola oil to the pan when it's hot enough.

Then, add the grated carrots and fry for about 5 minutes.

Note - You can replace canola oil with another cooking oil of your choice, unsalted butter, or clarified butter (also called ghee).
Step 2
Add the whole milk to the carrots and bring it to gentle boil. Cover the pan and cook the carrots with milk until the milk evaporates. Stir the carrot-milk mixture about every 5 minutes to evenly mix the milk with carrots and prevent the mixture from burning or sticking to the pan. This process may take about 50 to 60 minutes.
Step 3
Once the milk is evaporated, add sugar, cashew nuts, raisins, and cardamom powder to the mixture. Carrots release more water after adding sugar. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until the water evaporates and the carrots turn reddish in color.

Your Carrot Halwa is ready to serve. Serve it hot or chilled. Garnish with sliced pistachios before serving.

Note - To make pieces as shown in the picture, transfer the hot Carrot Halwa (soon after cooking) to a square or rectangular shaped pan. Evenly spread the halwa in the pan and smoothen the top part with the help of a spatula or spoon. Sprinkle the sliced pistachios and gently press with a spatula or spoon.

Let it cool down to room temperature or refrigerate it if serving chilled. Cut the halwa into about 1 inch square pieces before serving.

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