Two-Way Gajar Halwa

No added sugar, no ghee!! Then, is it any good ? I have it from my fussiest that indeed it is finger-licking good.

Here is a little, soft primer on “you are what you eat” or what La Nutritionista says. Added sugar –such as cane sugar or honey or maple syrup or agave or any syrup– toys with one of your body organs (say, pancreas via insulin) while sugar, such as in fruits or vegetables, can be viewed as contributing to the total calorie intake . The latter has more leeway than the former in your meal planning. So averting added sugar in favor of natural sugar may be a sound strategy.

Back to the carrot pudding. The sweetness in this halwa comes from the natural sugars in dried apricots. With a tiny dose, the halwa replaces your breakfast cereal, and, with a stronger dose turns into a dessert . Moreover, it is embarrassingly simple to make. Enjoy both-ways!


Microwave; food processor (or grater), coffee/spice grinder.


Serves 4.

  • 2 cups finely grated carrot + 1 cup milk
  • 3 dried apricots finely diced, and nuked in microwave with 1/2 cup water for 2 mins until very soft and fragrant
  • 2 tbsp powdered raw cashews + 2 tbsp whole raw cashews + 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • Optional topping: 1 tbsp mulberries soaked in 1/4 cup black cherry rum


Place ingredients (except cardamom) in a microwavable bowl. Cover loosely with damp kitchen towel and nuke at 50% power for 20 mins or so (in intervals of 8 mins, say).

When done, mix in the cardamom powder. Serve hot or chilled.


  1. The traditional halwa is slow cooked for hours with generous amount of sweetener and ghee. My daughter is the fussiest eater I know and a fierce critic. She found this lighter version of halwa finger-licking good!
  2. You can powder the raw cashews in a spice/coffee grinder. About 1 1/2 tbsp cashews yield 2 tbsps of powder.
  3. In pressure cooker: Place ingredients (except cardamom) in a pressure-safe bowl and pressure cook for 15 mins.
  4. Recommendation by AHA/CDC is to limit the consumption of added sugars to a few teaspoons a day. Check the different resources in your country for the exact recommended number that best matches your health profile.
  5. For the sweeter version of the halwa use 6 dried apricots in 3/4 cup water. Surprisingly, when the apricot cooks in water it is fragrant like a mithaiwala’s sugar syrup!
  6. The recipe is inspired from Indian Instant Pot Cookbook, by Urvashi Pitre (that used about 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tbsp ghee).

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2 thoughts on “Two-Way Gajar Halwa

  1. Sounds interesting and gains much more Respect and Authority as your daughter approved itπŸŽˆπŸ˜ŠπŸŽ‰

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