Carrot Halwa or Gajar ka halwa, also known as Gajrela, is a carrot
I have so many fond memories of my mom’s Carrot Halwa- it was simply amazing. My mom always made it on the stove-top, the traditional low-and-slow way. I was finally able to adapt her recipe to the Instant Pot 6qt, my programmable pressure cooker. It reduces the cooking time and eliminates the initial stirring time, which to me, is a huge plus.
The traditional recipe calls for an equal amount of milk and carrots. The milk is reduced on slow heat, till it dries up, leaving behind the fudgy creamy milk solids, which add to the richness of the halwa. The end result is divine, but it does take a fair amount of time, babysitting and muscle power:-) By substituting most of that milk with dried milk powder, I am able to cut down on that active cooking time, without losing the texture and taste. Dare I mention, I used non-fat milk powder, so I saved a few calories too 🙂
Carrot Halwa / Gajar Halwa- Instant Pot ( Pressure Cooker)Print Recipe
- 4 tablespoon ghee / unsalted butter
- 6 cups grated carrots (about 5-6 large or 10-12 medium)
- 1 cup milk, microwaved for 2 mins (I use 2%, can use whole milk too, no fat-free)
- 1/2 teaspoon Saffron (optional)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups Nonfat Milk Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Green Cardamom Powder (or, about 6 pods, de-seeded and crushed)
- 1/4 cup chopped cashews and almonds
- 1 tablespoon chopped almonds for garnish (optional)
Turn on SAUTE mode, when it displays "hot", add ghee or butter. Add chopped nuts and carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes. This prevents the carrots from turning mushy later. Add warm milk, saffron and sugar, stir well. Adding warm milk ensures that the milk won't curdle under pressure, and, speeds up the pressure building time significantly. Close lid and cook on Manual/Pressure Cook for 5 minutes. Set the valve to Sealing position.
Manually release pressure (QR) and open the lid after the pin drops. Turn on SAUTE (high). Add milk powder and stir. Cook off the liquid, stirring every few minutes. This takes around 10-15 minutes. The actual time depends on the quantity of carrots as well as your personal preference. For this quantity, it took me 12-13 minutes to reach my desired consistency.
Add cardamom powder and stir. Garnish with chopped almonds (optional) Serve warm!