Vegan Carrot Halwa Recipe. Gajar Ka Halwa is a a dessert made with shredded carrots that are roasted with non dairy milk and cardamom to make a sweet melt in your mouth dessert. Gajar Halwa tastes like a moist cardamom Carrot Cake crumble. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Recipe. Pin it for later.
Carrot halwa is an amazing dessert that tastes like a roasted carrot cake. It has many versions depending on the region. Some recipes cook the carrots for long, while some cook to tender. Some are fudgier or wetter while some cook till carrots get candied. My Mom makes her Gajar Ka Halwa with deep red carrots. She usually would start making it in the morning with loads of carrots and ghee (clarified butter) or oil and cream or khoya(milk solids) and continues to roast it into the evening, until the carrots are a dark red brown. Some roasted nuts and dried fruits are mixed in along with flavors such as cardamom or saffron. Carrots get roasted and somewhat caramelized. The added richness from the butter and khoya make it is pleasing melt in your mouth dessert.
My version is quicker and, of course, minus the dairy that is unfortunately present in many Indian desserts. It is equally delicious, uses less oil and needs just 15 minutes of active time. The rest is just letting the carrots cook over low heat. I use non dairy milk, a little bit of oil and almond meal to replace the dairy ingredients. You can use pumpkin seed meal and other non dairy milk of choice. This festive season, make this Carrot Halwa, Cashew fudge (kaju katli), any of the Vegan Burfis, Gulab Jamun, Ladoo Balls and more, without dairy. Ganpati Bappa would love that too. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!
India is the largest exporter of Beef and Veal in the world, without having a single beef lot or any cattle raised for beef or veal. The dairy industry alone is enough to produce the millions of tonnes of exported Beef and Veal.
This in spite of cow slaughter being banned in certain regions(because of vegetarianism related to religion), which leads to cattle being illegally transported without food or water to the illegal slaughter houses in other states. 10’s of millions of baby male calves as young as a few days old are discarded/killed as a side effect of the dairy industry. Whenever someone mentions that I should take just a bite of the dairy desserts (to celebrate whichever event/festival), I see the pain of those babies and moms in that bite.
Just think about those numbers, 2.4 Million Tonnes of beef and veal are exported each year, almost all of which comes from spent dairy female cows and baby male calfs 38500000 per year, that is 105900 per day, 4390 per hour. This much suffering for something as fleeting as taste, is difficult to understand, also because the same tastes and textures can be found in alternate ingredients. Many shops also have vegan options available if you ask to hold the dairy. Let this easy Vegan Carrot Halwa prove that the joy of the festival, all the memories, will be the same with equally delicious Vegan Indian sweets.
This recipe is adapted from my cookbook Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen (which is available in print and digital from any online bookstore in many countries).
You can make the halwa nut-free by omitting the cashews and using pumpkin seed meal instead of almond meal and coconut milk instead of almond milk. You can also make beet halwa using the same recipe but with grated beetroot. To make oil-free, omit the oil and use a non stick pan.
- 2 teaspoons safflower or other neutral oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped or halved raw cashews
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
- 2 1/2 cups or more grated or shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup almond meal or coarsely ground almonds
- 1 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup ground raw sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter or safflower oil
- Generous pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder or saffron strands
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cashews and cook until lightly golden, 2 minutes. Add raisins and pistachios and cook until the raisins puff up, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the grated carrots to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add almond meal and almond milk and mix well. Reduce heat to low-medium. Cook for 15 minutes.
Add sugar, vegan butter, salt, and cardamom. Mix in. Cook for another 20 to 30 minutes or until all the almond milk has almost been absorbed. Depends on the moisture in the carrots and the stove. Stir occasionally.
Taste and adjust sweet. Continue to cook for another few minutes or until roasted to desired consistency and color. Serve warm or chilled.
Nutrition is 1 of 4 serves.