My favorite time of the year is here! Diwali has always been one of my much-loved festival ever since my childhood as I used to have an Indian neighbor back then and I would eagerly wait for her to send a platter of Indian sweets early on the morning of Diwali. Yes, I have always learned to appreciate good food even when I was a kid. 😀
Diwali is also known as the Festival of Lights. It is one of the biggest festivals that is celebrated by Hindus all around the world. This festival signifies the triumph of light over darkness, justice over injustice and good over evil. Diwali is also a time for bonding with family and friends while eating sweets.
Sweets are definitely the best part of Diwali. Talking about myself, well I also try to make something sweet during this festival. Last year, I made these Delicious Semolina Ladoo and this year the ever popular Gajar Halwa which is also known as Carrot Halwa.
Gajar Halwa or Carrot Halwa is an amazing dessert to make and it requires just a handful of ingredients like grated carrots, sugar, whole milk, dried fruit and nuts. It has a delicious light fudgy texture. This classic dessert is a favorite in Indian households during Diwali, and I just had to make some to savor during this festival of lights.
It is a really easy to make gajar halwa despite the fact that you would have to babysit it for a bit during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking. Basically you just have to cook all the ingredients in a pot till it dries up to the consistency of a thick pudding.
There is nothing more perfect than a bowl of warm Gajar Halwa to usher in Diwali and the best thing about making your own Gajar Halwa is that, you can adjust the amount of sugar according to your individual preference. I personally like to use less sugar, so that I feel less guilty about eating more of this dessert. Just like how I would squeeze out most of the sugar syrup while eating rasagulas or gulab jamun. This way, I feel that I am eating a slightly “healthier” version of the sweet. Yes, that is how I roll when it comes to convincing my mind.
Anyways, to all my Hindu readers, I would like to wish you and family a happy Diwali. May the warmth and splendor that are a part of this auspicious occasion fill your life with happiness and bring you joy and prosperity for the whole year. ♥
- 5 medium carrots, grated
- 3 cups full cream milk
- 2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter (use butter if unavailable)
- 5 - 6 tablespoons cane sugar (more if you prefer it sweeter)
- 10 - 15 whole cashews
- 2-3 cardamon pods (see notes)
- A pinch of saffron (optional)
- 2 tablespoons raisins (optional)
- In a pot/pan, combine milk and carrot and cook this over medium flame till ¾ of the milk has been reduced.
- Mix in ghee, sugar, and cardamom pods and cook this till the halwa is thick and the milk is completely evaporated.
- Add cashew nuts, saffron and raisins if using.
- Cook over low flame for another 5-7 mins.
- Serve either hot or cold.
I used the whole cardamom without crushing it as I wanted just a hint of cardamom aroma/flavor.
If you do not like cardamom, you can just omit it.