This sweet vegan carrot halwa dessert is one of many varieties of halwa found in and around Asia and North Africa. This one is one of the more popular desserts found at typical Indian restaurants in America and Europe. It’s an easy-to-make carrot halwa (gajar halva), but I’ve made mine vegan and low sugar to appeal to more diets and nutrition needs.
You can find loads of recipes for vegan carrot halwa with varying degrees of prep work. Some reduce the milk, some just use less milk and heat it for less time. I compromised and reduced the milk for a slightly shorter time than some recommended, just to make the recipe a bit more time-friendly. It’s still de-li-cious. I based it on this recipe, with swaps for the sugar and milk, and a reduced cooking time.
Ultimately, this Indian-inspired dish is fairly fool-proof and always surprises Indian food novices with its yumminess. It can be served warm or cold (I prefer it warmed, myself), and can include tons of add-ins like more raisins, more pistachios, almonds, maple syrup, vanilla extract… whatever you’re into.
Serve it as a dessert or even a sweeter breakfast. It would totally fit right in with other brunch faves.
I used Trader Joe’s clarified butter/ghee for this one, but you can use any neutral cooking oil, or even omit it entirely for an even lighter dish.
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- 1/2 lb carrots, grated
- 1 cup almond milk (or vegan milk substitute of your choice)
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (or ghee for a non-vegan version)
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute (I used Swerve)
- 2 Tbsp raisins
- 2 Tbsp unsalted pistachios, chopped or whole
- Melt ghee or oil in a saucepan on medium heat.
- Add the grated carrots to the pan and stir for about 2 minutes.
- Add the almond milk and bring it up to a boil. While boiling, stir constantly for about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes, stirring often, until the milk is reduced by about a third.
- Turn the heat up to medium and add sugar or sugar substitute and raisins. Stir often, and cook for another 5-10 minutes. The milk will be mostly absorbed/reduced by this point.
- Stir in cardamom until well mixed.
- To serve warm, scoop into a bowl and top with pistachios. Serve immediately.
- To serve cooled, scoop and pack into small bowls or ramekins and store in the fridge. Once cooled, turn the bowls over onto a plate and sprinkle with pistachios.
If you make this recipe, share a photo and hashtag it #BIJOUXANDBITS. I’d love to see what you’re cooking!
Leta Maler says
This has 1/2 cup sugar listed twice. Does it really take 1 cup of sugar???
You’re right! I had it in there twice and it should just have been once. Thanks for the catch! 🙂
sugar depends on the carrot sweetness actually Indian carrots are red, sweet and juicy so you can adjust sugar to your taste actually my mother makes vegan carrot halwa since my sister is allergic to dairy, she makes with mixed nut milk or coconut milk, with lots of poppy seeds and she garnish it with lots of walnuts and dried mixed berries like blueberry,cranberry,rasberry etc. it tastes fantastic you can make this variation no need to use ghee at all (clarified butter) just fry the mixed berries in microwave just add 1tsp. coconut oil to mixed berries and microwave for 20sec. and garnish.
Ghee is not vegan, it’s from cows & shouldn’t be listed at all when the title says ‘vegan’ as some people may not realise.
Good call! I swapped the order of vegetable oil and ghee and made it more clear that veggie oil or vegan butter is the vegan choice. Thanks for the catch!
I have not coriander powder,can I replace it with sometging else?
Hi, Marcela! You can replace it with caraway seeds, cumin, or, in a pinch, curry powder. Thanks for checking it out! 🙂