If you visit New Delhi in winter, you are guaranteed to get this delicious dessert called Gajar Halwa. It is made with carrots that is cooked with thickened milk and sugar. It is simple ingredients that are magically transferred into this incredible dessert.
When Delhi is covered in fog, and you are strolling down the lanes of old Delhi, this Halwa is served warm in either plates made from leaves, or earthen ware. The warm halwa and cold weather are a match made in heaven.
This halwa is made with these bright red carrots that are only available in the winter months, which impart lovely color to the halwa. Enormous amounts of nuts are added to this which makes this dessert rich and perfect for the cold winters.
My recipe today is inspired from this Gajar Halwa. I decided to take these flavors and ingredients and turn it into a cake 🙂
It has its soul in the Gajrela from Dilli but the form is modern.
Just like the song, ” मेरा जूता है जापानी , ये पतलून इंग्लिस्तनी , सर पे लाल टोपी रूसी , फिर भी दिल है हिंदुस्तानी !”
I have invited my close friends for dinner and they were Guniea pigs. 🙂 I was thrilled that they all loved it. I must say, the results of the experiment were amazing.
Gajar Halwa Cake
It of course has tons of carrots.. and to bring in the nuts, I used almond flour instead of regular flour. The ghee instead of butter also brings in the traditional flavor of the halwa and cardamom just seals the deal
- 450 g carrots grated
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cups chopped nuts, I used cashews & pistachios
- 8 tablespoons melted ghee
- 2 cups almond meal/flour
- 1/4 cup Self rising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder, I make my own fresh
- 100 g eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 pack of cream cheese
- 1 pinch of saffron dissolved in 3 tbsp milk/cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar ( I used the liquid I used for making the candied carrots)
- 1/4 tsp powdered cardamom
- Candied carrot ribbons
- Sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- Add carrots, raisins, cashews, pistachios and ghee into a bowl. Mix well.
- In another bowl, add almond flour, baking soda and cardamom and stir until well combined.
- Add the carrot mixture to the bowl and combine well – then mix in the honey,sugar and eggs.
- Pour into a 9-inch springform pan and bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. It might need more time depending on your oven.
- I made these in these mini bundt pans, when it makes it easier to serve.
- Beat the cream cheese with sugar
- Add the saffron and cardamom and mix well
- Spread the frosting on the cooled cake
- make a ring on the outer edge with sliced almonds
- Add the Gajar halwa in the centre