Traditional Indian Dessert Vegan Carrot Halwa or Gajar Ka Halwa
Carrot halwa is a traditional Indian dessert that melts in your mouth treat that can easily be made into a vegan carrot halwa or vegan gajar ka halwa. In Hindi, gajar means carrot. Due to some dietary preferences in the family my mom has made this dairy free version often at home. This vegan version leans into almonds so it is a bit of a carrot almond halwa!
Gajar ka halwa is a spiced carrot dessert with raisins and nuts for some added crunch. It is very easy to make and reminds me of eating a carrot cake, except there is no all-purpose flour!
I also have a dairy version of this recipe linked here and some ideas to turn gajar ka halwa into cake desserts here:
- Gajar ka halwa cupcake recipe
- Gajar ka halwa cake recipe
Why make this Halwa
- Gluten free, dairy free
- Can be made ahead of time and frozen
- Tastes great cooled or warm with ice cream!
While traditional carrot halwa is usually made with milk products of milk, ghee and khoya or milk powder, this vegan version uses substitutes for them. We have used vegan butter and almond flour instead. This adds some protein and health benefits of almond into this dessert too!
Milk substitute: My preference is to use soy milk but almond milk is a great pick as well. Any plant based milk would work.
Ghee substitute: Use vegan butter of choice. I used Flora butter.
Khoya or Milk Powder substitute: These are used to help thicken the halwa and give it a richer taste. My Mom uses almond flour instead.
Sugar: I have used granulated sugar. If you want to make this halwa without sugar you can try substituting coconut sugar as a sweetener. I don’t recommend honey or agave as it would change the texture and make the halwa sticky.
Toppings: I love adding crushed toasted nuts and raisins for texture to this dessert.
While traditionally, carrots are shredded my Mom has been using a short cut with the help of a food processor. This cuts down on time considerably. It is up to you and you can shred carrots if you prefer that method though.
Freezing gajar ka halwa
Gajar ka halwa can be frozen and made ahead of time. Once the halwa cools it should be stored in an air-tight, freezer safe container. It will keep in the freezer about 2-3 months. Just remember to set out to defrost before serving!
Looking For Other Traditional Indian Desserts? Check Out:
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Vegan Gajar Ka Halwa
- Food processor
- 5 cup carrots (food processed/shredded) 590 g
- 3 tbsp vegan butter Flora brand in US
- ½ cup soy milk
- 1½ cup sugar
- 2 cup almond flour
- ⅓ cup crushed nuts blend I used almonds and pistachios
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- Put pot on stove and turn to medium heat. Mellt ghee in skillet and mix in carrots. Roast they until flagrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add in milk and cardamom to carrots in pot. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens and bubbles.
- Add almond flour and sugar. Mix and continue cooking until liquid evaporates – stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
- Carrot halwa will thicken. Mix in toasted chopped almonds/pistachios and raisins if desired or garnish on top. Serve warm or cooled dependent on preference.