Indian Carrot Bars (Gajjar Ka Halwa)

Total Time
1hr 50mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

This Indian candy/pudding is made by slowly cooking carrots in milk, then frying the resulting mush in oil. It's generally garnished with fried almonds, though raisins and clotted cream are also nice. The cinnamon is not traditional. Note: this will not work properly with non-dairy milks. The original recipe called for 8 cups of whole milk, but I only had skim and half-and-half. I used canola, but any neutral vegetable oil will work. Adapted from a recipe at Serious Eats.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Shred the carrots on the largest holes of a box grater, or using a food processor. Combine shredded carrot with milk, half-and-half, cardamom and cinnamon in a large, heavy-bottomed pot (at least 6 qts). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the milk has cooked off and the mixture is nearly dry, 40-60 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet on a medium flame, heat 2 tbsp oil until shimmering. Add almonds and fry, stirring often, until the almonds are a medium brown. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain and set aside.
  3. When carrot mixture is dry, add oil and cook, stirring almost constantly, until mixture is dark orange, almost brown, about 30 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods. Stir in almonds and 6 tbsp sugar. Taste and adjust sweetness. Pour into a 13x9" pan and spread smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Cut into 1" squares and store in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature for best flavor, garnished with sliced almonds.