Instant Pot Gajar Halwa

Instant Pot Gajar Halwa – the classic Indian carrot pudding made in the Instant Pot!

Warm, rich and absolutely delicious Gajar Halwa is flavored with cardamom, milk powder and garnished with nuts and raisins to make an indulgent dessert.

If you love all the Instant Pot vegetarian/vegan recipes that I share on the blog, please join me on this Facebook Group – Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes. The group shares/features vegetarian instant pot recipes and ideas from all around the web!

instant pot gajar halwa served in a wooden bowl and garnished with nuts

If you are thinking why am I only posting sweet/dessert recipes these days, well the answer is that it’s Diwali in 20 days and so that’s all you will be seeing for a bit over here!

I have very high expectation of Gajar Halwa (Indian carrot pudding). The reason is that I grew up around Delhi and you get the world’s best gajar halwa there, like there is not even a comparison!

And my mom made the absolute best gajar halwa ever! So, I am spoiled when it comes to this dessert.

It was like a winter ritual, as soon as those bright red carrots would start appearing in the market, we all would beg mom to make halwa. It was quite an elaborate process, first of all the halwa was made for around 10 to 15 people at my home. So there was a lot of grating and chopping.

And then mom cooked it for hours in the milk. The slow cooking was what gave the halwa such a rice taste. I can almost taste it as I type this! If you have never tasted gajar halwa made in Delhi during winters, then you have been missing out!

One thing I have finally accepted is that no matter how much I try, I can never re-create the same the gajar halwa that my mom made. The biggest reason is that we do not get those beautiful sweet red carrots which are used to make this dessert in Delhi.

a hand holding a wooden bowl full of gajar halwa

The orange carrots that we get here, they taste so different in halwa. I have at few times spotted red carrots at Farmer’s market, bought them immediately and made halwa with them.

However it still never tasted like Delhi’s gajar halwa. So now I have given up and made peace with orange carrots to make halwa.

This Instant Pot Gajar Halwa is my favorite way to make this carrot pudding at home. This recipe was supposed to be in my cookbook and I tested it couple of times too. But I was not happy with the results (I think it had to do with my super high expectations as I mentioned above).

Finally after playing around few times, I am happy to share a version of halwa that I love. And trust me when I say this- it is very good! Take this from a girl who grew up eating bowls and bowls of gajar ka halwa every winter!

How To Make Instant Pot Gajar Halwa

Start off by pressure cooking the carrots with milk. This is the step that my mom did on stove top. She cooked carrots with milk on stove top until all of the milk was absorbed.

The roasting of carrots with ghee was done after that. I have followed exactly the same steps but used my Instant Pot for it!

Once you have pressure cooked the carrots, add in the sugar and roast until all the liquid evaporates.

Then comes the most important part, add ghee and roast the carrots for good 8 to 10 minutes. I know it might seem like a lot but trust me, you will end up with the most amazing halwa. Have patience, the end result will be worth it!

gajar halwa served in a black plate with a spoon with some flowers on the side

Tips For Making Good Gajar Halwa

1. Grate the carrots with your hands: I know it’s not fun but it’s important. Don’t use your food processor and turn carrots into a mush, the halwa will never taste that good. I have done that so many times!

I understand we all have those lazy days where we just want to put the carrots in the food processor and be done with it. But you hand grate it and see the difference in texture. We don’t make desserts like this everyday so the extra effort may be worth it, right?

2. Add mawa/milk powder/almond meal for added taste and richness: You can add either of these three after adding the sugar. Mawa is dried milk solids and is often added to gajar halwa. I added some dried milk powder in mine and I highly recommend it.

You can also use almond meal in case you don’t have milk powder or mawa.

3. Don’t cut down on the ghee: Now is not the time to cut down on those calories! Ghee imparts wonderful flavor to the halwa.

4. Roast the carrots with ghee at the end: This is important and my mom always did it. Roasting with ghee gives the halwa such a nice flavor. You must not skip this!

5. Always serve it warm: Since we use ghee in the halwa, it all solidifies as it cools down. If you don’t end up eating the whole bowl immediately and have leftovers (seriously?!), always remember to heat it first before serving. Microwave works best here!

Method

Grate the carrots and set them aside. I highly recommend grating the carrot by hands and not use a food processor for the halwa.

1- Press the saute button on your Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of ghee to it. Add the cashews and raisins to the pot and fry for a minute until they turn golden brown in color. Remove the cashews and raisin from the pot.

2- To the pot now add the grated carrots. Saute the carrots for 2 minutes.

3- Then add whole milk, stir and and close the pot with its lid.

4- Press the pressure cook/manual button and cook on high pressure  for 4 mins,with the pressure valve in the sealing position.

step by step pictures of making instant pot gajar halwa

5- Let the pressure release naturally for 2 minutes and then do a quick pressure release by manually moving the pressure valve from the sealing to venting position.

Open the pot and give the halwa a stir.

6- Now press the saute button and add in the sugar.

7- Keep stirring, after 3 minutes of stirring the sugar, add the milk powder.

8- Continue to stir for 4 more minutes until the liquid dries out. So after adding the sugar you will need to stir for around 7 minutes in total.

step by step pictures of making instant pot gajar halwa

9- Then add the remaining 1.5 tablespoons (22 ml) ghee to the halwa and mix.

10- Continue to roast the carrots on saute mode with the ghee for around 8 to 9 minutes. Be patient, it takes a little time but is worth it. You will notice the color of the halwa changing to a darker shade of orange. This roasting is important for the flavor and color.

Then add the cardamom powder and mix.

11- Stir in the fried cashews and raisins back into the pot.

12- Stir and unplug the pot.

step by step pictures of making instant pot gajar halwa

Garnish gajar halwa with more nuts and serve warm!

two wooden bowls filled with gajar halwa and garnished with nuts

If you’ve tried this Instant Pot Gajar Halwa Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Instant Pot Gajar Halwa

Delicious Gajar Halwa made in the Instant Pot! This Indian carrot pudding is flavored with ghee, cardamom, nuts and raisins!

instant pot gajar halwa served in a wooden bowl and garnished with nuts
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Keyword instant pot gajar halwa
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 323 kcal
Author: Manali
5 from 1 vote
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Ingredients

  • 2.5 tablespoons ghee, 37 ml, divided
  • 7-8 raw cashews, broken
  • 1 tablespoon golden raisins
  • 500 grams carrots, grated, 3 heaping cups grated carrots, around 8 large carrots
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, 6 oz
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar, 100 grams
  • 1/4 cup milk powder, 25 grams, optional but recommended
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

Instructions

  1. Grate the carrots and set them aside. I highly recommend grating the carrot by hands and not use a food processor for the halwa. It's important for the texture.


  2. Press the saute button on your Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of ghee to it. Add the cashews and raisins to the pot and fry for a minute until they turn golden brown in color. Remove the cashews and raisin from the pot.


  3. To the pot now add the grated carrots. Saute the carrots for 2 minutes.


  4. Then add whole milk, stir and and close the pot with its lid.


  5. Press the pressure cook/manual button and cook on high pressure for 4 mins,with the pressure valve in the sealing position.

  6. Let the pressure release naturally for 2 minutes and then do a quick pressure release by manually moving the pressure valve from the sealing to venting position.


  7. Open the pot and give the halwa a stir. And then press the saute button and add in the sugar.


  8. Keep stirring, after 3 minutes of stirring the sugar, add the milk powder. You may also use mawa (dried milk solids) or almond meal in place of the milk powder.


  9. Continue to stir for 4 more minutes until the liquid dries out. So after adding the sugar you will need to stir for around 7 minutes in total.

  10. Then add the remaining 1.5 tablespoons (22 ml) ghee to the halwa and mix.

  11. Continue to roast the carrots on saute mode with the ghee for around 8 to 9 minutes. Be patient, it takes a little time but is worth it. You will notice the color of the halwa changing to a darker shade of orange. This roasting is important for the flavor and color.


  12. Then add the cardamom powder and mix.


  13. Stir in the fried cashews and raisins back into the pot. Stir and unplug the pot.

  14. Garnish the gajar halwa with more nuts and serve!

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Gajar Halwa
Amount Per Serving
Calories 323 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 36mg 12%
Sodium 136mg 6%
Potassium 612mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 46g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 38g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 420.6%
Vitamin C 9.8%
Calcium 16.6%
Iron 3.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Delicious Gajar Halwa made in the Instant Pot! This Indian carrot pudding is flavored with ghee, cardamom, nuts and raisins! #dessert #indian #halwa #gajarhalwa #instantpot

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