Gajar Halwa is the quintessential North Indian Dessert. Every winter when fresh Red Carrots hit the market, every home in my hometown whips up a huge batch of Gajar Halwa. In my mother’s home, the halwa is stored in the refrigerator for few days and every day after lunch we would sit in the garden in the winter sun with a bowl of piping hot Gajar Halwa. The joy of devouring mouthfuls of this decadent dessert cannot be explained in words.
The recipe for Gajar Halwa mostly remains same in each home with a few changes.Some people like to cook it down in ghee, some cook it in milk and some recipes demand mawa/dried whole milk . My mother always went the harder route and cooked the Gajar Halwa in fresh whole milk from the farms.My parents stay on the country side therefore fresh organic produce is available in plenty. Mother would add Ghee and Milk to Carrots and leave it on a low flame in a wide open pot to sweat and cook down for hours. The result was a fudgy, melt in your mouth, seductive deliciousness. Till date I have yet to find a Gajar Halwa as good as my mom’s.
My Gajar Halwa today is a little different. Staying true to my love for simple, short cut recipes, I made this Halwa for a friend who was coming home for lunch and had dairy intolerance. I find replacing cows milk with coconut milk works best with Indian desserts as coconut milk is thick, delicious and well suited for Indian palette.
To make this bowl of Gajar Halwa, I grate a kilo of winter carrots. I add a tbsp of cold pressed Coconut Oil to the pan, heat it gently and add the Carrots. I cook this on an open flame, waiting patiently for the carrots to cook and for the water to evaporate. Once this is achieved, I add a few heaping tablespoons of Coconut Cream/ thick Coconut Milk, Jaggery, Cardamom powder and chopped nuts. I continue to cook this on low heat until the halwa looks fudgy and all ingredients come together.
I find that carrots and coconut taste great together in this recipe. I always prefer Jaggery over sugar because it gives an intense caramelized flavour to desserts. If you are looking to try a vegan Gajar Halwa recipe without compromising on flavour, your search ends here.
Do try this recipe this Diwali and let me know what you feel. Don’t forget to tag me @supaintsonplates #supaintsonplates on Instagram.
Coconut Gajar Halwa
- 1 kg Red Carrots
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- Jaggery Powder to taste
- 1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
- 4 tbsp Coconut Cream
- 1 tbsp Slivered Pistachios to garnish
- 1 tbsp Slivered Almonds to garnish
- Few Rose Petals to garnish
- Wash, peel and grate the Carrots
- Add Coconut Oil to a heavy bottom pan and heat on a low flame
- Once the oil is hot, add the carrots
- Cook the Carrots (without covering) until they are mushy and the water has evaporated
- Add Jaggery and mix and stir until well incorporated and the Halwa thickens
- Now add the Coconut Cream and cardamom powder
- Stir well and let this cook for few minutes until the Halwa is thick and fudgy
- Transfer to a serving dish and top with nuts and rose petals.