Gajar ka Halva (or Carrot Pudding) is a delicious dessert made with carrots, milk, and sugar. The dessert hails from the Punjab region of Pakistan and India, where it is very popular. It’s simple and requires only a few ingredients. If you like carrot cake, you will LOVE this.
6 medium carrots (or 1lb of baby carrots)
3 cups of milk (any kind will do, I used whole)
8 whole cardamom pods (available at most major grocery stores)
5 Tbsp vegetable oil or butter
5 – 7 Tbsp sugar (to taste)
2 Tbsp raisins (optional)
3 Tbsp sliced almonds
Note: I find this works best with carrots which are a few weeks old that have dried out a bit. (Perfect for those carrots languishing at the bottom of the crisper drawer) If you are using fresh carrots, you can try peeling them and putting them in the fridge for a few days to dry out. If you are in a rush, just use the carrots as is, but the cook time will be longer.
Step 1: Peel the carrots and grate them either by hand or using a food processor.
Step 2: Put the carrots, milk, and cardamom pods into a wide heavy-bottom pot (like a dutch oven) and bring to a boil.
Step 3: Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until there is no liquid left. This will take about an hour or two, depending on the width of the pot and how fresh your carrots are (see Note).
Step 4: Heat oil or butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. When hot, add the carrot mixture and 5 tbsp sugar. Stir until the carrots lose their wet, “milky” look and turn a rich, reddish color. This takes about 10 – 15 minutes. Taste, add the rest of the sugar if needed.
Step 5: Add almonds and raisins. Fry for another 2 minutes. This dish may be served warm or at room temperature. Yum!!
Recipe source: Adapted slightly from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking