Healthy Gajar Halwa or Gajar Mithai (Carrot Fudge)

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carrot and cardamom fudge

I’m sharing a healthier version of one of my favorite desserts! This is a honey-sweetened recipe for gajar halwa.

I’m giving you two options with this dessert – you can either make this recipe into a halwa (pudding) or into a fudge (mithai).

Gajar Halwa is typically made with grated carrots, ghee, milk, nuts, and sugar. You can find my Punjabi father approved version of gajrela here – but for those interested in a tasty, but healthier, paleo-friendly version, this recipe is for you. I have included directions for my non-paleo readers who might want to make this dish as well (see notes below).

This carrot fudge is made with five simple ingredients: grated carrots, ghee (or coconut oil if you are vegan), coconut milk, cardamom, and honey. You can also garnish this dessert with chopped nuts or raisins. I love the look of green pistachios with orange halwa, but cashews or almonds work too.

If it’s cold outside, I prefer to eat warm halwa, carrot pudding, instead of the fudge. Here’s what that looks like:

Gajar ka Halwa is a Carrot and Cardamom Pudding (Indian dessert made paleo) by Ashley of MyHeartBeets.com
Gajar ka Halwa is a Carrot and Cardamom Pudding (Indian dessert made paleo) by Ashley of MyHeartBeets.com

When all the milk has evaporated, you’ll notice that the mixture looks pretty oily. Don’t worry — it’ll congeal. Not sure if that makes you feel any better but it’ll be delicious. If you’re making pudding you can remove some of this oil but if you’re making fudge, you’ll need it to hold your bars together.

Love the flavor of gajar halwa? Try my gajar halwa carrot cake recipe next!

Oh and if you love this dessert (which you will) then be sure to check out my Paleo Indian eCookbook: South Asian Persuasion! It has 100+ Paleo Indian Recipes.

Healthy Gajar Halwa or Mithai

Healthy Gajar Halwa or Mithai

4.5 from 4 reviews
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Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
 

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 tablespoon pistachios for garnish or use ¼ cup pistachios if making halwa
  • 2 ½ cups grated carrots
  • 1 13.5 ounce can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon cardamom powder freshly ground is best
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Golden raisins optional for garnish
  • Pistachios or sliced almonds optional for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Melt ghee in a pan over low-medium heat, then add pistachios and stir until all of the nuts are coated with ghee.
  • If you are making mithai (carrot fudge), remove the pistachios from the pan and set aside. If you are making halwa (carrot pudding) remove only a few of the pistachios to save for garnish.
  • Add grated carrots and sauté in ghee for about 10 minutes, then add coconut milk.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Stir often to avoid burning.
  • After about 20 minutes, add cardamom powder. Mix well and then stir in the honey. Continue stirring until all of the milk has evaporated.
  • Eat as a pudding or if you are making carrot fudge, spread the pudding mixture onto a greased plate, garnish and let it cool in the fridge. After a couple of hours, cut into squares.

Notes

  • For my non-paleo readers, just replace the coconut milk with 2 cups of whole milk and instead of honey, add ¾ cup of sugar (or however much you want), or find my instant pot recipe here.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

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Comments

  1. K Spritzer says

    3 stars
    Good but needs more honey or sugar. I doubled it (but don’t double the ghee because it will be too oily. I made it as fudge in an 8“ x 8“ pan. Doubled, it served 8. It was the dessert to an Indian themed dinner, and goes well with a glass of Port.

  2. Mary Lou says

    Hi Ashley, I know little about Indian food, so am glad to have found your site. I volunteer at a community garden here in Oregon and we have something every year called “Carrot Harvest Day.” We make a celebration out of harvesting our carrots. We also eat carrot soup, salads, cakes, etc. Great day for the kids as well as adults. The food we raise throughout our growing season goes to food banks, and volunteers can take home fresh, delicious veggies and fruits too. It is organic and we teach gardening as well as food prep. You can even eat lunch if you are working here as a volunteer. I do a lot of baking and doing interesting, unusual, and tasty stuff with our vegetables and fruits. I wanted to do something different than my carrot bars or pie. I have been comparing recipes for Carrot Fudge and yours sounds easier, so I plan on trying it. I thought I would do a test batch, hopefully this coming weekend, and a completely vegan version as well for our vegan eaters. Thanks and I will make a note to come back to your site and let you know how people reacted.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Mary, I’m so glad you found my site too! And oh my gosh I love that you guys have a carrot harvest day at your community garden – that sounds like such a blast and so helpful and educational too! I’d love to hear how this goes!

  3. Karen M. Chapman says

    5 stars
    Hi,

    I’m always on the lookout for vegan versions of Indian sweets as I have a lactose intolerant boss. Would you know what I could substitute for almond milk? I doubt we get that here.

  4. kala says

    Hello Ashley,
    Your site is excellent. You have put in a lot of hard work and it shows. I would like to share the knowledge that according to ayurved the Indian medical system, honey should not be heated. It forms a coating on the food pipe and will not come off, kind of like plastic. I read somewhere that the max temp for honey should be 100 F.
    Thanks a lot,
    Kala.

  5. Uma says

    hi ,Please don’t cook the Honey. Adding honey to hot food will also cooks the honey. Cooked honey is poisonous in Ayurveda.

  6. Janaki says

    Thank you so much for your wonderful blog. I am very new to Paleo, and your blog is now my faborite. I absolutely adore this recipe. I didn’t have pistachio so I added half a bar of very dark chocolate with orange flavour, some vanille and a splash of rosewater. Really good.

  7. Gopika says

    I’ve just found your Web site and am enjoying it very much. Really delicious looking and so simple.

    I would appreciate it so much if you would list your ingredients in the order they are used. It would help to be sure to use them all.

  8. Pam says

    I made this tonight as pudding and loved it! My kids loved it too. In fact, every recipe I’ve made from your site has been a hit with them (same goes for me and my husband). My son (he’s 7) requests your butter chicken regularly, which we enjoy with your naan.

    We’ll definitely be making more carrot pudding (and fudge if I can be patient enough) in the near future. I know my kids will not only look forward to eating it, but also with helping with the cardamom pods again. Maybe I should get each of them their own mortar and pestle and have them in charge of the spice grinding from now on…

    Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful recipes!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Pam, I’m so happy to hear that you and your family are enjoying the recipes! I think it’s wonderful that your kids help you cook – I LOVE the the mortar pestle idea 🙂 Thanks for the sweet comment and please keep me posted on any other recipes you try!

  9. Mrs G says

    I made this yesterday and it was delicious!!!
    The best part are the roasted pistachios on top of the fudge. Next time I’ll make it as a pudding.
    Thanks for this recipe.

  10. Brittany says

    Wonderful! I made as instructed (but failed to boil it down long enough and ate as pudding). Was delicious and I immediately saw the potential for future adaptations.

    Making a batch now with a balance of cinnamon and nutmeg in place of cardemom, and omitted the honey because it is sweet enough as-is.

    I follow paleo because it takes into consideration my gluten, dairy, and bean allergies, but with an additional issue with eggs, there’s not many breakfast options for me. I prefer veggies over fruit when I can, so this carrot-based pudding will definitely be a part of my regular breakfast rotation!

    Thank you! Your recipes are so refreshing!

  11. Aruna Advaney says

    Hi. Thank you for sharing my favorite Indian dessert recipe.

    Will this work with almond milk instead of coconut milk? And if I use almond milk, would I use the same amount? Or more?

  12. LuAnne says

    I am so proud of you for doing this, Ashley!! I have REALLY enjoyed reading these recipes and am ready to dive in and try them. Question: I’m not sure what ghee actually is and am wondering if I can use coconut oil instead. And 2, is cardamom found easily (keeping in mind where I live) or do I need to get that at a higher end grocery or specialty store? Miss you!! Lu

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thank you, Lu! I miss you too! I’m so glad you like these recipes. So, ghee is a type of clarified butter – it’s butter that is simmered with its milk solids until it caramelizes and is then strained into “ghee.” It has a nutty flavor and is delicious. I plan on adding a how to make ghee post in the very near future so stay tuned 🙂 While I love coconut oil, it won’t give you the same flavor – but you can use it. I’m not sure if using coconut oil will hold up as “fudge” as well as ghee but you can always eat this dish as carrot pudding. If you try this recipe with coconut oil, please let me know how it turns out! As for cardamom, I’m not sure if you’d be able to find it at a grocery store in Dville. You may need to wait until you can get to a Whole Foods or you could always order some from Amazon. I hope all is well!

  13. Angela says

    Holy cow…after reading the Peacha Pie recipe I am now going through your whole blog and all I can say is wow. Thank you so much for writing recipes that are unique and different instead of the “usual suspects” for paleo food. This looks delicious!

Trackbacks

  1. […] If you don’t want to make fudge, you can serve this as a warm halwa – kind of like my Indian carrot pudding. Whether you make halwa or fudge, you can garnish it with some crushed nuts (I used slivered […]

  2. […] The great thing is that with a few adjustments, they can be made into paleo-friendly treats (try my Carrot Mithai or Date Mithai). Mithai is an integral part of Indian festivals and special occasions. I’m pretty […]

  3. […] This Gajar ka Halwa Cake is like the Indian version of carrot cake. It’s made with ghee, pistachios, cashews, golden raisins and plenty of freshly ground cardamom. This cake is based off the famous north Indian dessert, gajar ka halwa (carrot fudge). […]

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