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. For Instant Pot Carrot Halwa, see here.
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.
Vegan Carrot Halwa Gajar Halwa Recipe
- 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 (320 g) or more grated or shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup (28 g) almond meal or coarsely ground almonds
- 1 1/4 cup (312.5 ml) almond milk
- 1/4 cup (59.15 g) ground raw sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter or safflower oil
- Generous pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.25 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.
You are a BLESSING to all Richa. The recipes as well as your teachings on vegan whys and hows. Bless you!
Vegan Richa Support
aww, thank you kindly
This was my first time attempting a sweet like this… and it turned out awesome! It really does remind me of carrot cake, but way healthier. Thanks for being here, and I appreciate the info that you share regarding the beef and dairy industries. I go back and forth with purchasing strictly vegan ingredients, but my daughter loves ghee and cheese. I often think, better to have ghee because it’s less processed than vegan butters… but then I think of the cows, and tears me up. Thank you.🙏🏽
Vegan Richa Support
glad you both like it. little by little
Turned out really good, thanks for the recipe.
Vegan Richa Support
THANKS for stopping by
Can I use blanched almond flour instead of almond meal
Made this to satisfy a major craving – yummy!! I made a couple of tweaks – swapped out ground walnuts for almond meal and added a couple tbsp coconut milk powder which imo elevates it to a whooole new level!
The whole thing took less than an hour to come together- will definitely be making again – thanks for sharing!
Vegan Richa Support
Forgive me if I’m overlooking, but what is the approximate measurement in cups per serving, please? 🙂
I don’t add cup measures. It’s just an approx amount one person will be served.
Thank you Richa for taking the time to write this and giving the statistics. I hope it helps many other individuals to switch to vegan and more sustainable options.
This is my favorite Indian restaurant dessert but I’ve avoided it for so long because of the butter. Do you have any recommendations for substituting the vegan butter or oil? How about coconut cream?
Just omit my
Can I use just regular white sugar?
Just made it and it was delicious!!
Instead of sugar can I use jiggery?
yes use powdered jaggerey
Hi Richa! Just about to try making this for Diwali. I just wondered how long this will keep for after making it? Also would it work if I rolled them into balls for my Diwali sweet boxes?
it will last in the fridge for 4-5 days. It stays fine for 1 day on the counter/room temp Yes you can roll into balls and refrigerate and then add toyour boxes just before gifting. When you gift suggest that they refrigerate.
Hey there! Lovey recipe. Just one question, why not rather use ghee? Gajar Halwa seems incomplete unless made in ghee. I understand the no use of dairy here although people use ghee made from A2 cow milk because of the negligible amount of lactose it contains. You guys can check out this brand called Himalayan Natives, if you want to include ghee in your diet minus the side effects of dairy. Their A2 Badri Cow ghee is really delicious. Here’s the link- https://himalayannatives.com/product/100-natural-himalayan-a2-badri-cow-ghee/
I dont use dairy as it is unethical and involves suffering, pain, torture and killing of the cows and the babies.
The blog and I are vegan for ethical reasons and the point of the blog is to show that dairy isnt needed in making great food.
Many cows and baby calfs are killed worldwide for dairy. India is the largest exporter or beef and veal(baby cow meat) in all of the World, Because of the Dairy industry. 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 who are useless for the dairy industry. 38500000 cows are slaughtered every year in India, that is 105900 per day, 4390 per hour.
Animal agriculture is also the largest producer of green house gasses, more than fossil fuels, and uses many times more Resources(water, land) of the planet.
The alternate non dairy milks and yogurts, creams, butter taste equally good and are beneficial for people, health, environment, as well as the planet.
Richa I bow down to you 🙌🏼
I made this using oat milk instead of almond milk and substituting coconut oil for vegan butter. I also doubled the amount of cardamom and added 2 tsp of rosewater after it had finished cooking.
The result was moist, flavoursome and healthy with an excellent texture and attractive appearance and I will make it again. Everyone in the family loved it and luckily I made double the amount so now have some in the freezer.
Hi tried your vegan carrot halwa . Turned out very good . Thanks
Just made this and it is delicious! 🙂
Karen M. Chapman
This vegan sweet looks delectable Vaishu! I guess it is more tasty & rich with almonds milk
Hey, so I tried this recipe and it TASTED AMAZING! However, my halwa looked more tan than orange. What should I do to make it look more bright orang-y like yours?
hmm, it may have got roasted a bit more, or the carrots were darker or picked up the color of the sugar if the sugar was darker. My mom’s version is usually pretty tan as she roasts it much longer. Red/purple carrot arent as easily available here so most days i use orange carrots which make it lighter
Can I use agave syrup instead of sugar?
Tried and tested… it is yummy😋!
My husband made this for us today.. OMG it came out really good..!! couldn’t believe vegan could taste so good..! thnx for the recipe, it will be made many times in our home i m sure..! keep the good work..! we have decided to go vegan since January 2018 n u have won over us with this recipe .!!
Just made this. One of the most satisfying desserts I’ve had. Much healthier than traditional carrot cake. Great recipes, thank you.
Thank you for share a good food and good recipe. It’s looks fresh and beautiful. It’s easy made and healthy. I want to made this at my home to follow your making instruction.
Just made this and it is absolutely wonderful.! And thank you for the reminder that dairy consumption results in the abuse and death of innocent animals.
We look forward to trying many of your other recipes, and plan to purchase your Indian cook book soon!
Can I use maple syrup or honey instead of sugar and not use the butter?
You can use maple syrup and omit the vegan butter. The cook time might be slightly longer with the additional liquid from maple
You are an Angel. Just for being such a lovely and considerate human being!!!
Keep up the good work & god/goddess bless
Thank you for this blog Richa. My husband and I are vegans for ethical reasons and I turn to your blog quite a lot ❤️
With this one, I have a doubt. So I have a problem. I don’t like almond. Will the almond meal give it a strong taste? What else can I use?
Nope you can’t taste it!
I had this dessert years ago at Sivananda Yoga Centre in London but it was made with raw finely shredded carrots still crunchy, then soaked in warm almond milk with spices, sultana and nuts. I thought it was really good and healthy. I will try this version too!
They might have a raw version. Traditionally gajar halwa is roasted for a long time to make it like candied shredded carrots. there are several variations depending on regions and family recipes such as pressure cooked halwa, or just cooked to al dente etc and personal interpretations.
I am following your recipes from long time and they are awesome.
I want to ask, can i use coconut cream which one can buy in Asian stores? They usually have above 20g of fat. Because usually coconut milk or almond milk which we get in Germany does not contain too much fat % to get the richness in carrot Halwa.
Whenever I cook tofu, broccoli curry with all the spices and with coconut cream, if I cook it more than few minutes, the milk losses its taste and consistency. Hence I am afraid to use same coconut cream for this sweet dish.
you can use coconut cream. Use half coconut cream and half water. The cream melts on heating to translucent coconut milk kind of state so it will not look creamy on heating, but the fat is there to add the cream like consistency.
I’ve always loved this dish but am now vegan. I’m happy to have this replacement with no butter!
There is Cardamom in the reipe.
Where do you get the vegan butter from?
It is available in the US easily. You can use oil instead (organic safflower, sunflower or canola)
Can i make it without using any milk
Sure, use water.
I literally just made this and it is so scrumptious and divine! My taste buds thank you. 🙂
So glad it turned out well!
Very delicious recipe I will definitely try thank you very much.
Well said…Once I learnt the truth about dairy industry I too have stopped eating dairy sweets
Very rarely I see compassion for animals..Glad to know you are an evolved human being.
I was not aware about India being largest exported of beef and veal..Very cruel
We need to initiate some movement on it..
It looks healthy, Richa. I do not like carrot so much but I do think that this recipe is delicious. Thanks for sharing, Richa.
Hi…may i know if you have to squeeze out the water from the grated carrots before use?
no. it gets cooked out during the cook time.
Carrot halwa is my favorite Asian dessert! However, most of the ones I tried ended up having butter or ghee in them 🙁 I LOVE this version–so creative and cleaner!
What are all my non dairy alternatives ..( mainly of the shelfs – I m a busy mum ???? to two )
Assuming you are in India, it would depend on the city. Many cities have soy milk and coconut milk. The bigger cities have almond milk brands as well. you can use coconut milk or make cashew milk (soak 1/2 cup cashews for a few hours, then blend in a blender with 1.5 cups of water until smooth) and use that.
i love Indian foods, looks very simple but need so much spices to make a dish and the flavour is always special, too. luckily there’s still saffron strands in my house, i’ll try it this evening. thanks for sharing 🙂
You had me at “roasted carrot cake”! This is amazing, I need to try it right away
Dear Richa, I stay in India ,Mumbai here it is difficult to get almond milk,almonds meal,so what is the alternative for that .iwould like to try your recipe pl. help.
Zinobia, you can make your own almond meal. Put raw almonds in a blender and blend. A few seconds at a time. Move them around with a spatula if they start to get buttery. You can also add a tbsp of starch in with the almonds, so that they get stick too quickly. Store in a cool place for a few months as use.
For almond milk, that you can make at home as well. https://www.veganricha.com/2015/08/how-to-make-almond-milk-at-home.html
I usually use cashew milk or coconut milk when I am out of almond milk. for cashew milk, soak a 1/2 cup cashews for an hour or so, blend with 1.5 cups water until smooth and use.
Dear Richa, can I use agave sirup instead of sugar.
Very beautifuly worded about facts of animal slaughter and how to find it in alternTe vegan foods.
Thanks! But can I also use another type of meal?
Yes, you can use pumpkin seed or sunflower seed meal
Thank you Richa! I can’t wait to try this.