Gajar ka halwa: A little bit of Pakistan in Minnesota

Published: March 30, 2013

Gajar ka halwa is a traditional Pakistani dessert, made with carrots, milk, butter and sugar. PHOTO: SAPHIYA KHAN LOVETT

Finding a desi sweet-dish here in Minnesota is not an easy task, so in order to extinguish that deep craving I had, I decided to make gajar ka halwa at home and fell absolutely in love! 

Gajar ka halwa is a traditional Pakistani dessert, made with carrots, milk, butter and sugar.

Even with the relatively small list of ingredients, there are different ways of making this dish.

Some folks fry the carrots first, and then add the milk. I use my method of cooking the carrots in milk first until the liquid evaporates, simply because that’s how I learned to make it in middle school during our after-school cooking lessons.

I doubled the following recipe as I was having guests over. With this recipe, you can get about three to four servings. It’s a very easy and tasty dessert to make and I prefer eating it warm, however, you can serve it at room temperature too. You will need a large saucepan and a wok to prepare the halwa.


Whole milk – 5 cups
Grated carrots – 8 ounces
Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
Butter – 6 tbsp
Sugar – 1 ¾ cup
Raisins – 1/3rd cup

1. Heat the milk in a large saucepan on medium heat and add the milk,  cardamom powder and carrots.
2. Stir well and let cook on medium – low heat, stirring occassionally, until the milk evaporates and the carrots are soft – about 30 to 40 minutes.
3. Heat a wok, and add the carrots, butter, sugar and raisins and mix well.
4. Cook for another 15 – 20 minutes or until the butter begins to separate.

Serve warm or at room temperature with tea, a cold glass of milk or a spoonful of cream and devour away!


This post originally appeared here.

Follow Safiya on Twitter @girlwithchutney

Saphiya Khan

Saphiya Khan

Works for the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women in Saint Paul and has an undergraduate degree from Denison University, Ohio, in Political Sciences with a concentration in International Affairs and Foreign Policy. She tweets @girlwithchutney

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