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.
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.
- 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!