The much-hyped “Dilli ki sardi” is here, and so are our beloved “winter veggies” like carrot, broccoli, mushroom, sweet potato, and a wide variety of greens. This is the season to load up on healthy and wholesome vegetable soups, hearty stuffed parathe, and of course, the much-loved dessert, gajar ka halwa or gajrela.

I love all kinds of homemade Indian sweets but what I especially love about this beloved winter delicacy is that it’s so easy to make dairy-free! Any of the “regular” recipes can be easily veganized by replacing the dairy milk/condensed milk/ghee with vegan alternatives. I personally prefer this method, in which the carrots are cooked with sugar until tender and lightly caramelized before mixing in the cashew “mawa.” Do try and share your results 🙂

Preparation time: 30-40 minutes

Yields: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 kg red, juicy carrots, peeled & coarsely grated
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil/any neutral smelling oil
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar (adjust according to taste)
  • ¾ cup cashew nuts, soaked for 4 hours & drained
  • A big pinch of elaichi (green cardamom) powder
  • A handful of raisins, soaked & rinsed
  • 2-3 tablespoon chopped assorted nuts, for garnishing

Method:

  1. Squeeze out some of the juice from the grated carrots to get ½ cup of liquid. Blend the soaked cashews with this liquid to make a thick paste. This is our “mawa.”
  2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker/thick-bottomed kadhai and add grated carrots + soaked raisins. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes until most of the moisture evaporates.
  3. Add sugar and mix well. The carrots will release more moisture. Continue to cook for a further 10-12 minutes until the carrots are tender and most of the moisture has dried up.
  4. Add the “mawa” and mix well. Cook over low-medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Mix in the elaichi powder. Garnish with chopped nuts and serve hot/warm!

This recipe can be easily halved but why would you want to make a lesser quantity of a good thing? The halwa stays good for a week or so in the fridge in an airtight container.

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