Instant Pot Gajar Halwa (Indian Carrot Pudding)


Have you ever tried gajar halwa? It’s a bright orange Indian carrot pudding that’s absolutely decadent!

Instant Pot Gajar Halwa - carrot pudding

What is Gajar Halwa?

Gajar ka Halwa (gajrela) is a delicious and rich carrot pudding made by cooking carrots with ghee, milk, sugar, and a bit of cardamom. It’s the perfect dessert to make for any celebration, including Valentine’s Day which is coming right up! It’s perfect for Easter too – after all, the Easter Bunny loves carrots, right? Right.

I can’t tell you how many times I had to make and re-make this recipe. The first time I made gajar halwa in my Instant Pot, I had my dad taste test it and was told to immediately try again lol. 😂

This classic Indian dessert has been my dad’s favorite sweet since childhood. He knows what great gajar halwa tastes like and has very high standards. This recipe has his stamp of approval. Yes, there is quite a bit of ghee in the recipe but if you’re going to make gajar halwa then according to my dad, “it should be done right.”

This recipe is made in an Instant Pot and while it is much faster than my stovetop recipe, it will still require a bit of time and patience as you’ll need to stir the carrots in ghee to fry them a bit, which adds great flavor.

“bsolutely loved this recipe. So easy to make and so flavorful. Even my fussy parents loved this version!”

Instant Pot Gajar Halwa - carrot pudding

Secrets to Making Perfect Gajar Halwa:

When my parents were visiting us in Pittsburgh about a year ago, my dad and I made this dessert no less than 10 times in one week just to make sure it was perfect since it would be going in my cookbook. We tested it using both dairy and dairy-free ingredients – so yes, you can make a dairy-free carrot halwa but the dairy version calling for ghee and milk is better. We ate a lot of it that week and froze a good amount of it too (p.s. this dessert freezes well!). During the trip, my dad taught me a couple of secrets to making a proper carrot halwa:

  1. Wait to add the ghee until after you pressure cook the carrots as that helps give the halwa that desired dark orange/red color.
  2. You don’t need to use a lot of milk to make this dessert but don’t cut back on the ghee.

It was really fun creating this recipe with my dad. Before the visit, he would mainly cook on the stovetop but while testing this recipe with me, he saw firsthand how cool the Instant Pot is, and nowadays he uses his Instant Pot all the time, calling to tell me what new thing he made and how well it turned out. I also ask both him and my mom to test my new recipes to let me know what he thinks. My parents live in another state but when we share our recipes over FaceTime, it feels like we’re right next to each other in the kitchen.

So thanks dad for helping me perfect this recipe and for all your help with my other recipes! ☺️ And a big thanks to my mom too – she is a phenomenal cook and has helped me with so many other special recipes, including her famous Meethe Chawal.

How to Make This Carrot Halwa Recipe

(for the full recipe, see the recipe card below 😋)

Add carrots, milk, water and pressure cook!

Mix in some sugar and saute for a bit, then add ghee and stir-fry until the halwa is done. Spice it up with some cardamom and it’s done! So simple.

Is carrot halwa served hot or cold?

You can serve carrot halwa hot, cold, or at room temperature. It’s delicious however you decide to enjoy it. If it’s cold outside, I prefer to eat warm halwa and if it’s hot out, I prefer cold halwa.

Can I use butter instead of ghee in Gajar Halwa?

You can use butter instead of ghee if you’d like, it’ll provide the same richness, however, ghee adds a nuttier flavor to the halwa so personally, I prefer the flavor of ghee in Indian sweets.

Instant Pot Gajar Halwa - carrot pudding

I can’t wait for you to make this halwa! Come back and let me know how much you love it!

Instant Pot Gajar Ka Halwa (Indian Carrot Halwa)

Instant Pot Gajar Halwa - carrot pudding

Instant Pot Gajar Ka Halwa (Indian Carrot Halwa)

This classic Indian dessert has been my dad’s favorite sweet since childhood. He knows good halwa and he loves this recipe. My dad actually helped me come up with the method for making this delicious, rich halwa. He taught me a couple secrets to making this recipe: 1. Wait to add the ghee until after you pressure cook the carrots as that helps give the halwa that desired dark orange/red color. 2. You don’t need to use a lot of milk to make this dessert but don’t cut back on the ghee.
4.91 from 93 reviews
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  • 1 pound carrots grated/shredded (approx. 4 cups)*
  • ½ cup whole milk or full-fat canned coconut milk if dairy-free/vegan
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil if dairy-free/vegan
  • teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Chopped pistachios or other nut garnish


  • Add the carrots, milk and water to the pot. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 1 minute at high pressure.
  • Open the valve to quick release any remaining pressure.
  • Press sauté and add the sugar. Stir for 6-7 minutes, or until most of the liquid has reduced. Then, add the ghee and stir-fry the carrots for another 6-7 minutes, or until the carrots become dry and the ghee separates from the mixture. The carrots should look dark orange/reddish in color.
  • Add the cardamom, mix well, then garnish with chopped nuts.



  • *Use a food processor to shred the carrots, it’s fast and easy. If you use store-bought shredded carrots, the halwa will be a little thicker but that’s absolutely fine too.
  • You can stir raisins or any type of nut into this halwa if you’d like!
  • I don’t use khoya when I make halwa, but if you’d like to use it, feel free to mix it in at the end when adding cardamom powder.
  • If you are making this for a dinner party, serve a small portion of halwa with a large scoop of ice cream.
  • If you want to make this dairy-free, you can use full-fat coconut milk and coconut oil instead of ghee (but it won’t taste quite as good).
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

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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  1. Basheer says

    I love this recipe. However I end up with a lot of water from the carrots after pressure cook. Do I really need to add the water?

  2. Menka says

    5 stars
    Great recipe! So easy to follow.
    I had to stir mine for a lot longer for the liquid to reduce than the recipe as I had doubled the quantity.
    Tastes great as well. Thanks Ashley!

  3. Christie says

    Hello, so I finally got around to making this today. I’ve had this once in a restaurant before and making this it turned out okay so to speak but tasted a little weird. I used Grassfed Ghee. Do you think that would of made a difference ? Thank you for your help. Also my carrots didn’t shred in food processor, more like small chunks.

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Christie, did you use a shredding blade in your food processor? That will help – and the texture is important for this recipe. Small chunks are likely the reason it tastes off – the grassfed ghee won’t hurt – if anything, high-quality ingredients will only help.

  4. Christie says

    Hello, so I’m hoping to finally make this in a few days. I just wanted to say how I like reading comments before trying new recipes and noticed you reply to every comment. I think that is great. When you take the time and answer and show others you care about their thoughts and questions ; I believe that goes a long way. Thank you.

  5. PS says

    Hello Ashley. Thanks for lovely recipes. I finally got an instant pot and I am really looking forward to make gajar ke halwa and I can’t wait to try other yummy recipes. Just a quick clarification. Are the measurements same here in Australia.

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