Gajar ka halwa with khoya, Pakistani recipe (step by step with pictures)
Gajar means carrot in Hindi and Urdu, Gajar halwa is sub-continental or more commonly Indian carrot pudding garnished with nuts ad dry fruits. Hot gajar halwa is sometimes served with vanilla ice cream. The halwa is usually served warm. This recipe is very balanced and gives you perfect halwa that is neither too sweet nor blanch. Also not too heavy with ghee and khoya and has a perfect combination.
It is a winter delights as fresh, sweet and red carrots are available in winters. The halwa can be made in large batch and stored in fridge for few weeks. This recipe is for a kg so you can easily double or triple the recipe.
Winter in Karachi
For me, winter is the best season. The season of hot turmeric tea and turmeric latte. The chilly cold breeze of winter nights brings piping hot soups and hot gajar ka halwa and of course, carrot cakes too.
Winter mornings are for long walks, bicycle rides and workouts on sandy beach; when breakfasts are filled with orange and carrot juice. And evenings bring roasted peanuts in newspaper bag. Long weeknight cherish never-ending laughter sipping Kashmiri tea and Kava with friends, after tikka boti barbecue and scaring each other with supernatural stories.
Try eating some warm makkai ( roasted and salted corn kernels) or bhuttas (roasted corn cob) at the seaside listening the music of waves and cold breeze hitting your face. Or buy some kava or bhuna channa from the guy with kettle and bucket full of assorted munchies.
Oh, lovely winter season that touches Karachi after humid, hot summer is like cool touch of mother nature’s hand on fevered head of earth.
Make this Gajar halwa in winter and enjoy the feel of winters in Pakistan.
How to make Gajar ka halwa with khoya?
- 1 kg carrot ,peeled and grated
- ¾ cup ghee (clarified butter) (see notes)
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1 cup milk
- ¾ cup sugar or more
- 250 grams khoya ,crumbled (see notes)
- ¼ cup raisin
- ¼ cup mixed nuts ,for garnishing; almond, pistachio, cashew
Melt ghee in a thick bottomed wok and add cardamom powder.
Then add grated carrot and milk. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium high heat till carrots are soft.
Remove lid, cook for 15 minutes to burn excess water, stirring in between.
Now, add sugar. The sugar will melt and get watery. Dry all water by cooking for 10 minutes. Keep stirring.
Then add half khoya and cook further for 7-10 minutes. When you see ghee separates profusely from sides of pan. Add dry fruits, nuts and remaining khoya.
Cover lid and let it simmer on low flame for 5 minutes. Gajar halwa is ready.
Sugar: Carrots vary from region to region so adjust sugar if required.
Khoya: Instead of khoya, you can use 2 cup milk powder.
Ghee: You can reduce ghee up to ½ cup. I have made gajar halwa with vegetable oil too. Taste differs a lot but you can use it. You can also use unsalted butter instead of ghee.
Step by step Gajar ka halwa Pakistani recipe
Wash and peel carrots. To peel scrape the carrots with edge of knife to remove thin roots and very little skin.
Heat desi ghee in a wok or thick based skillet.
Add cardamom powder.
Next, goes in shredded carrots,
Cover the lid and cook for 5 minutes on high flame. This will soften the carrots and bring the milk to boil.
After 5 minutes reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes till water dries. Keep stirring in between.
Now, most of the water is dried.
Mix in sugar. Sugar will also release water that has to be dried. Cook for 10 more minutes. Meanwhile, you can blanch almonds, soak raisins and chop nuts for garnish.
At this stage, add half of crumbled khoya and cook (bhunnofy) for 5-7 minutes till oil separates profusely.
When a layer of oil from sides in visible as in above picture;
add remaining khoya and raisin. Cover the lid and steam (dum) the halwa for five minutes on low flame. Your halwa is ready garnish with nuts of your choice.