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Gajar Halwa – Carrot Almond Pudding – Instant Pot

Gajar Halwa is a Carrot Almond Pudding. This delicious Indian dessert is often made during the Diwali and Holi celebrations. It is ultimate comfort food – soothing, rich and delightful made by slow cooking grated carrots with milk and sugar and flavored with cardamom.

Traditionally this recipe was done on the stove top. This post details how to make this popular Indian dessert using electric pressure cooker like Instant Pot. And we have made it vegan and gluten free by substituting milk and butter but without sacrificing the taste and texture.

Speaking of Indian desserts, we also love Vegan Coconut Rice Kheer and Vegan Tapioca Pudding both of which are so easy to make in Instant Pot. For festivals and celebrations, Mukhwas Kulfi and Gulkand Pedha are fabulous options. This vegan carrot pudding is also my childhood favorite.

Instant Pot Gajar Halwa served in white bowl garnished with blanched almonds.

Serving Gajar Halwa in Indian Thali Dinner

Typically Indian desserts are served along with the main meals. For celebrations and festivals like Diwali and Holi, a variety of dishes are prepared and served as a Thali – Platterful of dinner.

A typical thali dinner consists of an appetizer, couple of entrees (called subzi) a dessert, rice , naan or roti along with accompaniments like chutney, pickle and papad.

So to create such delightful thali dinner, use this gajar halwa as a dessert along with Samosa Chat or Aloo Tikki as an appetizer, Aloo Matar , Rajma Masala or Punjabi Kadhi as mains along with Turmeric Lemon Rice, roti or naan.

Comfort Food Vegan Dessert

There’s always something special about cooked carrots and soothing warm spices. The glowing orange color adds its extra charm to the comfort quotient. If you love sweet treats and are looking to keep your healthy eating habits in tact, you will want to make this Carrot Almond Pudding. Lots of carrots and lots of almonds.

In India, Gajar ka Halwa is traditionally made in winter months. Carrots are in season in December -January and they are their best in terms of color and taste. So making the decadent dessert out of it helps celebration of seasonal produce.

Now carrots are available all year round so you can make it any time you crave the homestyle soul food. Instant Pot Gajar Halwa is my kids favorite carrot pudding and I love feeding them wholesome treat full of healthy ingredients.

Gajar Halwa served in individual dessert containers.

Simplified Easy Recipe

In good old days, carrot halwa was very tedious to make. Grating a whole lot carrots by hand is hard work. Slow cooking carrots and milk to reduce it to pudding like consistency also is a job of several hours. Since milk tends to burn quickly, you needed to actively watch and cook it too.

Now we can use multiple kitchen gadgets to make this yummy dessert effortlessly. I use high speed food processor to grate the carrots. Saves a lot of elbow grease instead of grating it by hand. It also ensures consistent smooth texture.

We then use Instant Pot, to practically dump everything in and let it cook. And have a divine sweet treat ready whenever you got those dessert cravings. And the texture is similar to what it use to be simmering for hours -Creamy, yummy , delicious and healthy.

Carrot Almond Pudding

You will love this Carrot Almond Pudding/ Instant Pot Gajar Halwa

It is vegan
Glutenfree
Full of wholesome ingredients
Easy to make
Ultimate comforting and satisfying

Carrot Almond Pudding

Ingredients

Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here is what I am using to make it Vegan Gajar Halwa.

In this vegan and gluten free version, I am using coconut oil instead of ghee, almond milk and almond meal instead of regular milk and milk powder. The warm spices, nutty flavors and sweet carrots are so refreshingly delectable. You will Fall in love with this fall color dessert.

Coconut oil : replaces traditionally used ghee
Grated carrots
Almond milk – choose non flavored variety
Sweetener : I am using raw sugar
Almond powder or almond meal : replaces traditionally used milk powder or Mawa / khoya
Cardamom powder : A must have for Indian sweet desserts
Optional Garnishes : Sliced Almonds, rose petals, raisins

How to make Gajar Halwa / Carrot Almond Pudding in Instant Pot?

Turn Instant Pot to Sauté-Hi mode. Add coconut oil. Once its warm, add grated carrots. Sauté for 2-3 mins stirring frequently.

Cancel Sauté mode. Add almond milk, sugar and mix well. Close the lid with the pressure value set to sealing. Select Manual -Hi for 5 mins. After it’s done cooking, wait on keep warm timer for 8-10 minutes and then release leftover pressure by switching the knob to venting. Carefully open the lid.

Add almond meal and cardamom powder. Mix well.

Turn Instant Pot to Sauté Hi and cook for 5-7 mins until most of the liquid is evaporated. Cancel sauté.

Garnish with sliced almonds, raisins or rose petals. Serve hot or chilled.

Making Gajar Halwa on the stove top

Heat the heavy bottom pan. Add the ghee or coconut oil. Add grated carrots and stir for 5-6 minutes. Make sure carrots change color and look roasted. Keep stirring frequently.

Add milk and sugar. Stir few times. Let it boil on low to medium heat. Stir frequently so it does not burn at bottom. Stir in Almond meal. The mixture will start to become thick.

Keep stirring as the mixture thickens. Add cardamom powder and cook till all the liquid had evaporated and mixture is becoming dry.

Serve hot or at room temperature as a dessert.

How to Serve Gajar Halwa

Gajar Halwa makes an excellent base to make some stunning dessert creations. I like to serve it in single serve portions and layer it with different toppings. It makes stunning show stopper deserts displays.

I like to layer different toppings. You can portion them in individual containers or shot glasses. Recycled yogurt glass containers look very pretty, so do small mason jars.

One of the popular and favorite layering is with Vegan Rice Pudding to make beautiful Dessert Jars. You can serve gajar halva in the shot glasses or as parfaits. Top it off with some whipped cream or dollop of ice crème. Divine and delicious.

Carrots take center stage during Easter celebrations. Make this sweet treat to impress your little ones. For a change up use Homemade Apple Butter Sauce for fruity, creamy goodness.

Orange is the color for the Halloween . So I love making individual mason jars with this pudding. You simply fill it with spoonful of Carrot pudding. Add some whip cream on top and top it off with some Halloween sprinkles. Beautiful and decadent sweet treat is satisfying and wholesome.

Instantpot Gajar Halwa served in mason jars with whipped cream and halloween sprinkles on top.

Storage

Carrot Almond Pudding freezes well. So you can easily double the recipe and save it for later use as well.  If serving for the parties, you can also make this recipe ahead of time. It will keep well in the refrigerator for 5 days.

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Carrot Almond Pudding

Gajar Halwa made in Instant Pot and served for dinner.

Gajar Halwa - Carrot Almond Pudding - Instant Pot

Yield: 8 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Delicious Gajar Halwa or Carrot Almond Pudding is popular Indian dessert. This Gluten free and vegan version is made in Instant Pot.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 6 cups grated carrots ( about 8-10 carrots grated)
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar or sweetner of your choice
  • 1 cup almond powder or almond meal
  • 2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 2 tablespoons sliced or blanched almonds, rose petals or raisins for garnish - optional

Instructions

Gajar Halwa in the Instant Pot

Turn Instant Pot to Sauté-Hi mode. Add coconut oil. Once its warm, add grated carrots. Sauté for 2-3 mins stirring frequently.

Cancel Sauté mode. Add almond milk, sugar and mix well. Close the lid with the pressure value set to sealing. Select Manual -Hi for 5 mins.

After it's done cooking, Wait for keep warm timer for 8-10 minutes and then release the leftover pressure.

Add almond meal and cardamom powder. Mix well.

Turn Instant Pot to Sauté Hi and cook for 5-7 mins until most of the liquid is evaporated. Stir frequently so it doesn't burn at the bottom. Cancel Saute.

Garnish with sliced almonds, raisins or rose petals. Serve hot or chilled. Enjoy !

Making Gajar Halwa on the stove top

Heat the heavy bottom pan. Add the ghee or coconut oil. Add grated carrots and stir for 5-6 minutes. Make sure carrots change color and look roasted. Keep stirring frequently.

Add milk and sugar. Stir few times. Let it boil on low to medium heat. Stir frequently so it does not burn at bottom. Stir in Almond meal. The mixture will start to become thick.

5. Keep stirring as the mixture thickens. Add cardamom powder and cook till all the liquid had evaporated and mixture is becoming dry.

Serve hot or at room temperature as a dessert.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 7gSugar: 26gProtein: 8g

Nutritional values are provided as a courtesy and the values are approximate. The values will change depending on the exact ingredients, measurements and brands used. As always, for specific health issues and dietary requirements please consult medical professional.

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Marsha

Monday 15th of March 2021

I made this last night, and it was SO delicious! I thought I had cardamom in my pantry, but was mistaken. So I used garam masala instead. I will be making this again properly when I have a chance to pick up some cardamom.

camila

Thursday 30th of August 2018

sounds great! I love carrots! I've never tried anything like this!

Jessica Formicola

Thursday 30th of August 2018

I've never had this, but it sounds amazing! I love that it's made in the Instant Pot!

Sherri

Thursday 30th of August 2018

I have never had carrot-almond pudding before but being that I LOVE carrots, I am sure I would love it! Can't wait to give it a try! :)

Wajeeha

Thursday 30th of August 2018

One of my favorite childhood memories is of my mom making gajar halwa in winters. It woud take so long though, I love the idea of using the instantpot. Will be trying your version soon! :)

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