Gajar Ka Halwa | Carrot Halwa

6 Min Read

Carrot Halwa also known as “Gajar Ka Halwa” in Hindi is a beloved dessert in Indian homes. Made with freshly grated carrots, milk, sugar, and cardamom this simple recipe uses few ingredients that result in a rich halwa with authentic flavors. A perfect make-ahead dessert for festivals and gatherings that can be enjoyed year-round. Serve warm during winter months, or chilled with a scoop of ice cream in summer!

Gajar ka halwa in three silver bowls

What is Halwa

The word “halwa” is of Arabic origin and means “sweet” or “dessert.” Halwa comes in a wide range of variations, and the ingredients and preparation methods can vary based on regional and cultural influences.

In India, halwa is often made by cooking grains, lentils, nuts, or vegetables with milk, sugar, and ghee. The mixture is often stirred or cooked until it reaches a thick pudding-like consistency and is flavored with aromatic spices such as cardamom, saffron, and nutmeg. Some of the popular Indian halwa include Sooji Halwa, Doodhi Halwa, Moong Dal Halwa, and Badam Halwa.

Traditional Gajar Ka Halwa

Gajar ka Halwa is a popular North Indian dessert made with carrots. This carrot halwa recipe uses the traditional stove-top method and ingredients. I am using whole milk and ghee just like my mom used to for an authentic-tasting halwa using basic ingredients. The only expertise you need for this recipe is stirring the halwa consistently so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. If you are hosting an Indian Party, it can be made head and is sure to impress your guests.

If you are short on time or want a dairy-free dessert, check out my Instant Pot Carrot Halwa Recipe. In the variations section, I am sharing some of the other ingredients such as condensed milk, mawa, and milk powder that can be used to help speed up the cooking process if you like.


  • Carrots – freshly grated carrots work best for this recipe. In winter, if possible, get the red carrots available in Indian grocery stores. Red carrots add a bright orange color to the halwa and are sweeter.
  • Milk – whole milk is cooked down in this recipe and is a key ingredient for authentic taste.
  • Sugar – regular cane sugar is traditionally added to this recipe. You can use other sugar substitutes if you like.
  • Ghee – homemade ghee adds nutty rich aromas and flavor to halwa.
  • Cardamom – ground cardamom adds citrusy floral aromas.
  • Nuts – cashews, almonds, and pistachios make for a perfect garnish but feel free to skip them if you are allergic to nuts. You can also add raisins to carrot halwa if you like

How to Make Gajar Ka Halwa

  • Rinse and dry the carrots. Peel and trim the top and bottom ends.
  • Grate the carrots using a box grater or a food processor.
  • Add half of the ghee to a heavy bottom pan. Add grated carrots.
  • Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes as the color of the carrots changes to a brighter orange. This step helps remove some of the excess moisture from the carrots.
  • Stir in milk and cook on medium heat, stirring frequently. Scrape the milk solids as they start forming on the sides of the pan and mix them in the carrots.
  • Cook until the milk is 90% evaporated, stirring frequently making sure the milk is not getting stuck to the bottom of the pan. This process can take 50 minutes to an hour.
  • Add sugar, remaining ghee, cardamom powder, and half of the chopped nuts. Mix everything well.
  • The halwa will look a bit watery as the sugar melts in. Keep cooking until the halwa thickens again and most of the remaining milk evaporates – it takes about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off. Garnish with remaining nuts and enjoy warm or cold.


Gajar ka halwa can be served as is warm, at room temperature, or chilled. I love enjoying it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Gajar Halwa makes for a perfect make-ahead dessert. It can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to a week or you can also freeze it in smaller portions in airtight containers. To reheat simply thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature and then microwave until warm.


Here are some of the variations I promised to share especially if you are short on time:

  • Reduce the milk and sugar by half and add condensed milk instead
  • Reduce the milk and add mawa or dry milk powder along with sugar to thicken up the halwa. Make sure to cook for 5 to 10 minutes
  • If you don’t have time to grate carrots at home, use store-bought grated carrots, just give them a rough chop if they are too long.

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