Carrot Halwa/Gajar ka Halwa Ice Cream is an eggless Indian fusion dessert recipe. This delicious orange ice cream is made with just 4 ingredients including condensed milk.
Make it this festive season! Everyone will love it! It's appetizing and ideal for entertaining.
India's favorite dessert
Halwa is the Hindi term for pudding and in India, several types of Halwas are made with a variety of fruits and vegetables, depending on what’s in season.
Carrot halwa or gajar (carrots in Hindi) ka halwa is one of the most popular Indian desserts made with grated carrots, condensed milk, and milk.
Since in India, dark red carrots were mainly available in winter, this dessert is made this time of the year in nearly every home.
Although you can make them with regular carrots that are available all year round, it tastes the best with these special carrots.
It's a celebrated dessert that's mainly served on happy occasions or on festivals like Diwali, Holi, etc. Here, I make it even for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
It is also one of the most cliched desserts used in Indian movies. The mother or partner always makes gajar ka halwa to cheer someone up!
I also make Beetroot Halwa and Potato and Sweet Potato Halwa. You can check them out if interested.
Beetroot Halwa 🎥
Carrots are good for you
Though carrot is a vegetable, it can be used in all kinds of vegetable gravies, curries, and desserts.
In fact, Gajar Halwa is one dish where the sweetness of the carrots is allowed to shine in its full glory.
Carrots are crunchy, tasty, and highly nutritious. They also have many health benefits, thanks to the number of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in them.
Mom's Diwali Halwa
My only contribution to this (other than eating) was grating the carrots and then shaping the gulab jamuns.
These two are not traditional South Indian desserts but she learned to make them from our neighbors.
We would devour a small bowl every night. Dad would sometimes add vanilla ice cream to his bowl and relish this combo.
This frozen version of the classic dessert is an ode to my mom and dad. They were my inspiration for creating this fusion dessert recipe.
Through this recipe, I have tried to preserve that memory which is what makes it even more special. I really hope you try this dessert and make me a small part of your celebrations.
Why make this
This is that creamy and dreamy frozen treat that will leave you craving for more. It's so luscious in texture and appetizing to taste that you will literally be licking it off the bowl.
- It's a fusion of an Indian classic dessert
- The recipe is eggless
- Can be made in an Ice Cream Maker or even without it
- Made with just 4 basic ingredients
- Very easy, and delicious
- Ice cream is one such dessert that is loved by all across all age groups.
Ingredients needed 🧾
I love this recipe because it is very easy to make using basic pantry essentials. This recipe does not call for khoya as we don't need to thicken it.
Carrots - In India, mom would get Delhi carrots which were perfect to make gajar ka halwa. But it's difficult to get that here in the US.
So get fresh, tender, and young organic red carrots. They are less fibrous and naturally sweeter.
Milk and cream - Use full-fat milk and heavy whipping cream if you want a richer ice cream texture. Using low-fat milk may not yield the same result.
Sweetened Condensed milk - This is what gives this ice cream a smooth creamy texture and makes it sweet.
Ingredients for Garnish - A variety of chopped nuts and good quality saffron. Saffron will give it an aromatic flavor and hue.
How to make it 🔪
The recipe pans over two days simply because you need to refrigerate the carrot mixture and freeze the ice cream base, overnight to get the desired effect.
First, we need to make carrot halwa for ice cream. This is a stovetop version of making it.
- 1. Finely grate carrots using a grater or a food processor. You can grate them very fine or keep them semi-thick.
- 2. Add ghee or butter to a thick-bottomed pan and once it melts, add the grated carrots. Roast the carrots on low-medium flame till they turn light golden.
- 3. This could take around 7-8 minutes. Then stir in the milk and cream, and bring it to a boil. Keep the flame on medium.
- 4. Now add condensed milk, and stir it in. Cook for 8-10 minutes or till the carrots become soft and are well blended in milk.
- 5. Then, add the chopped nuts and saffron.
- 6. It should be a thick flowing mixture like kheer.
- 7. Transfer it to a bowl when done. Let it come to room temperature and then refrigerate it overnight.
- 8. Then, pour this mixture into the frozen container of the ice cream maker and churn it as per the maker's instructions. This could take 15-20 minutes.
- Once it's done, immediately transfer it to an ice cream container. Place a lid and freeze the ice cream overnight.
Serving Suggestions 🍽
When ready to serve, leave the container on the counter for 10 minutes.
Then add one, two, or even three scoops of this ice cream to a bowl, garnish with some chopped nuts and saffron strands and serve.
This is truly a new and great way of serving this family favorite! You can prepare this on any festive occasion and watch your loved ones going ga-ga over it.
A different way to enjoy this ice cream is to add a scoop to your morning smoothie!
Top recipe tips
Chilling the Ice Cream Maker Base overnight ensures that the homemade ice cream turns soft and creamy.
Use fresh, tender, and young organic red carrots. You can also use black carrots if you have. They will taste good.
If you want, instead of adding grated carrots, you can cook the carrots and puree it. Use this carrot puree in place of grated carrots.
The consistency of the prepared mixture should be of a thick batter. It's important to chill the carrot mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours/overnight to get the best texture.
Use full-fat milk, evaporated milk, or half-and-half and cream if you want a richer ice cream texture. Using low-fat milk/cream may not yield the same result.
This ice cream gets its own natural orange color due to the carrots and saffron. No need to add any food color.
If you don't have an ice cream container with a lid, cover the ice cream with plastic wrap to prevent ice crystals from forming.
If you have Kulfi molds, you can use this mixture to make Carrot halwa Kulfis. Yum!
Make this ice cream well in advance before any party. It saves you so much time.
Unopened ice cream can be stored for three to four months and opened ice cream is generally good for one to two months.
How to make it vegan?
Almond milk or coconut milk can be used along with vegan cream and condensed milk. You can also use sugar instead of condensed milk if need be.
Also instead of ghee, use vegan butter.
How to make it without an ice cream maker?
It's very simple. You can churn it in a blender, stand mixer, or a food processor.
Just that it will grind the carrots completely and you will need to keep the mixture more liquid for it to churn easily.
More Ice Cream Recipes
BTW, if you are looking for last-minute Diwali snacks, then check out this post.
Carrot Halwa Ice Cream
- Finely grate carrots using a grater or a food processor. You can grate them very fine or keep them semi-thick.
- Add ghee or butter to a thick bottomed pan and once it melts, add the grated carrots. Roast the carrots on low-medium flame till they turn light golden.
- This could take around 7-8 minutes. Then stir in the milk and cream, and bring it to a boil. Keep the flame on medium.
- Now add condensed milk, and stir it in. Cook for 8-10 minutes or till the carrots become soft and are well blended in milk.
- Then, add the chopped nuts and saffron.
- It should be a thick flowing mixture like kheer.
- Transfer it to a bowl when done. Let it come to room temperature
- Refrigerate the carrot halwa mixture and freeze the ice cream base, overnight to get the best ice-cream.
- Then, pour this mixture into the frozen base of the ice cream maker and churn it as per the maker's instructions. This could take 15-20 minutes.
- Once it's done, immediately transfer it to an ice cream container. Place a lid and freeze the carrot halwa ice cream overnight.
- Prior to serving, let the container sit on your counter (out of the refrigerator) for about 10 minutes
- Then, add one, two, or even three scoops of carrot halwa ice cream in a bowl, garnish with some chopped nuts and saffron strands and serve.