Gajar Ka Halwa (With homemade Khoya)

Rich...sweet...delicious....and very popular in winter months specially in Northern India..... Gajar Ka Halwa, a traditional Indian dessert with a creamy texture is one of my favorite dessert. My Mom usually makes Gajar ka Halwa twice a month during winter season and all year long on special festive occasions. 

There are many different ways of making it. It can be prepared in a simple way by using whole milk or can be made in a rich manner by adding condensed milk (milkmaid) or mava(khoya). I decided to opt my Mom's recipe of preparing it with homemade Khoya/Mava and generous amount of dried nuts and Ghee.

I have seen my Mom preparing it in a large cast iron kadai/sauce pan and also sometimes in a her fast to cook Futura Pressure Cooker to reduce the making time. And we daughters are always in a hurry, no matter where we are or where we live, I decided to try my hands using my pressure cooker........and the result was fantabulous... 
Here is my Mom's recipe...

  • 1 kg / approx. 4 cups Carrots (red & big sized), peeled and grated
  • 1 L / approx. 4 cups Whole Milk or 1/2 gallon LandoLakes ' Half & Half 'Milk
  • 200 gms homemade Mava(Khoya)( homemade from 1/2 L whole milk or 1/2 quantity Half & Half as mentioned below )
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Ghee, melted
  • 15 Cashewnuts & Almonds, soaked in hot water, peeled and slivered
  • 1 pinch Saffron, soaked in the water
  • 6-7 Cardamom pods / 3/4 teaspoon Cardamom Powder


To prepare Mava (Khoya):

  1. Bring 1/2 L / 2 cups Milk or 1/2 quantity Half & Half to boil in a heavy bottom saucepan.
  2. Reduce the heat and continue cooking at simmering point. Keep stirring so that milk does not stick to the base of the pan.
  3. As milk gets thicker stir more vigorously. The khoya is cooked when the milk is reduced to a thick, dry lump and it has stopped sizzling.
  4. Remove from the pan and leave it to cool. Use within fortnight.

To prepare Gajar Ka Halwa:

  1. Boil the remaining Milk in a pressure cooker. Add grated carrots.
  2. Close and bring to one full pressure on high heat. Remove the cooker immediately from heat. Release pressure with slight lifting of vent weight. Open cooker and transfer the whole thing into wide thick bottomed skillet.
  3. Add Mava (Khoya). Cook on medium heat (approximately 15 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  4. Add Sugar. Continue to cook and stir the Carrot mixture till it dries.
  5. Add Ghee. Cook till ghee shows separately (approximately 10 minutes), stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from heat when still moist.
  7. Stir in the Saffron, Cardamom powder and Almonds.
  8. Serve hot.
  9. If not serving immediately, refrigerate Halwa and re-heat and serve when desired.



  1. came across your blog through "finest foodies friday".. good one u have here :)

  2. oh I taste my recipes...big time! lol

    Congrats on being featured on FFF. :)
    Love this place.

  3. @ Navita
    Give your recipes a try...:-)

  4. Should I be a little biased and say "Thank God finally there is someone who knows how to make Gajar ka Halwa"! :) Although I skip the Khoya making and buy it pre-made, this dessert is a sure hit esp. in winters (with boiled eggs). Once anyone has had this version, the milk and khoya less fried gajar thing called 'halwa' mostly just doesn't cut it anymore :D

  5. your halwa looks so perfect. Even you have prepared khoya of very light colour...whenever I am preparing it comes out to be in a very dark brown colour.

  6. Thanks Mariamirza and Annie....
    @ Annie...Khoya should always be prepared on medium-low heat.

  7. Hey this is really great.....
    I love cooking..but now i want to cook new and different receipies.
    This one surely i will try.

    Shilpa, india

  8. Hey Anshu,Great recipe..I loved the fact that you have used a pressure cooker. Can you let me know how many people this serves as a dessert after a potluck dinner.yes i am plannin to take this for a potluck of 25 people. :)

  9. Thanks Shilpa.
    Thanks :)
    My measurement i.e 1 kg Carrots is a good enough amount as a dessert after dinner for 12-15 people.
    For 25 people, 1.5kg Carrots will be OK and accordingly will be the ratio of Milk and Khoya.

  10. a really good recipe :)...thank you

  11. hi anshu,ur halwa looks delicious,i hv cooked b4 bt after trying ur way of cooking my dad n mom liked it alot,thanks to u

  12. Wow amazing.. I m goin to try this tonight!

  13. Hey ...could you please let me know if it's ok to use evaporated milk instead of khova? if yes, would you be able to tell me the substitution?

  14. Yes, a can of evaporated milk or condensed milk can be used instead of khoya.
    You can also opt a popular Indian sweet named "Kalakand" in absence of above ingredients. Kalakand should be addend in the just before removing the end product from heat.


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