20 Famous Indian Food Dishes

5. Carrot Halwa



  • 1 pound carrots, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or neutral cooking oil
  • 8 green cardamom pods, seeds only, crushed
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pistachio nuts, chopped



Grate the carrots coarsely using a cheese grater. Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy, high-sided skillet or saucepan. Add the crushed cardamom seeds and stir for about 30 seconds, until they are fragrant. Add the grated carrots to the pan and fry for about 3 minutes.

Add the milk and bring it up to the boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Then turn the heat down to a low and simmer the halwa, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Stir every so often to stop the milk forming a film or scorching on the bottom. The milk should have reduced by over a third by the end of the hour.

Add the sugar, raisins, and saffron to the pan and stir. Turn the heat up to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for until the halwa is thick and glossy, 15 to 20 minutes.

You can serve the halwa warm or cold. If serving warm, scoop into bowl, sprinkle pistachios over top and serve. If serving cold, press the halwa mixture into small ramekins. When ready to serve, overturn on to plates, sprinkle over the pistachios and serve.