Festival Recipes

My mom’s Gajar Halwa | Festival Recipes

One of my earliest memories of high school is mom making copious quantities of Gajar Halwa & Vangibhath whenever my friends came home for lunch or brunch or supper during winters. We would all sit in one large circle and gobble up the goodies even before mom could lay the dinner table. That kind of carefree days may be almost over , but those memories linger on.

This is one of the dishes that mom taught me to make from scratch & while growing up, the Delhi carrots (red variety) was a treasure to be saved for the choicest of halwas (in fact I remember using the regular orange carrots only for this halwa), but after moving cities, I do have access to these red carrots during 3-4 weeks of winter. My elder kid particularly likes this and eats it with relish whenever prepared.

So, winter (or spring), make it anytime it fancies you. There is a pressure cooker method which also yields great results. But for now, I am making it the traditional way using a pan. And this method does NOT require any ghee. Gaajar Halwa without ghee ?? Read on to find what substitute works in place of ghee to make this a decadent dessert for Holi, Diwali or pretty much most Indian festivals.


Similar halwas you may check on the blog:

Prep time : 20 mins ; Cooking time : 20 mins ; serves : 4

What you need:

  • Delhi carrots / Red juicy n fresh carrots – 700 gms
  • Mawa / Unsweetned Khoya – 200 gms
  • Powdered sugar – 200 gms (adjust to taste, for us this worked well – measure after powdering)
  • Elaichi / cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Vanilla essence – few drops (totally optional, but we love this :D)



  1. Wash, lightly peel (or just scrub well), grate the carrots.
  2. In a non stick pan, add the carrots, saute well on a very low flame till they slightly become mushy (about 4-8 mins)
  3. Now add the powdered sugar, mix well (Tip : I add only 2/3 of the sugar first, taste it after 5 mins and then add the rest if needed, we like our desserts to be mildly sweet, so do a taste test if required and add in parts).
  4. Add grated mawa in parts and slowly keep stirring – only on low flame – till the mawa begins to melt. (dont add the mawa in chunks, it might burn – grate or crumble it finely before adding) 
  5. After adding the final portion of the mawa, dont leave the pan unattended. 
  6. Keep stirring till the halwa starts to leave the sides of the pan
  7. now add the cardamom powder and keep stirring again for 3 more mins till the volume is considerably shrunk to 1/3 or 1/4 the original volume
  8. Switch off the flame, add in vanilla essence if using. 
  9. Serve warm or hot. Tastes best if rested for 2 hours before serving (I usually make it overnight and serve it the next day, warming it slightly)

Sending this toBM 73 under Holi / valentine day treats.




  1. Gayathri Kumar

    I came across these red carrots during my recent visit to Delhi. How colourful is this. Sad that we don't get it here. The halwa looks super inviting..

  2. Priya Suresh

    Give me a huge bowl of this halwa, seriously very tempting.

  3. My fav halwa to make for any party.I usually use orange carrot,yet to try this halwa with red carrots.

  4. My favourite halwa.made two batches this season with orange ooty carrots 🙂

  5. Made two batches this season.used orange ooty carrots..

  6. perfect festival recipe. Love the fruit based desserts.

  7. Sharmila kingsly

    My fav dessert anytime!! Yummy share..

  8. MySpicyKitchen

    I heard so much about the halwa with red carrots and how good it tastes with this variety of carrots. Never tasted it. Halwa looks delicious

  9. saffronstreaks

    Some things deserve eternal love and gajar ka halwa is one of them.

  10. Seriously missing this halwa. Everytime I brought this gajar and could not make the halwa. Well next season is always there.

  11. Chef Mireille

    one of my fave Indian treats – this one looks so good

  12. I guess Mom's version always tastes the best..such lovely colour!

  13. Mom's cooking is the best!! Love this version of gajar halwa

  14. One of our family favorite dessert. Thanks for sharing your mom's recipe — it looks just perfect.

  15. Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen

    I usually make it with australian carrots, but last season i made it with delhi carrots and my god, the taste was so different and amazing!! Love the addition of khoya!!! sinful!!!

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