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Instant Pot Gajar Halwa – Vegan Carrot Almond Pudding

Gajar Halwa is a Vegan Carrot Almond Pudding. This delicious Indian dessert is often made during winter months and to celebrate big festivals like Diwali and Holi. It is ultimate comfort food – soothing, rich and delightful. Carrot halwa is made by slow cooking grated carrots with milk and sugar and flavored with cardamom.

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. This vegan carrot pudding is also my childhood favorite.

Pinterest image with text overlay for Instant Pot Gajar Halwa which is vegan carrot almond pudding.

What is Gajar Halwa ?

Gajar is Indian term for carrots. Halwa is Indian sweet or dessert which under broad category covers variety of different dishes. Halwa is like a pudding made by reducing milk to thick consistency. So gajar halwa is Indian carrot pudding. In this vegan version, I am using almond milk to replace regular milk so let’s call it Carrot Almond Pudding.

Instant Pot Gajar Halwa

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.

Serving Suggestions

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.

Vegan Gajar Halwa

Classic gajar halwa made in millions of Indian kitchens includes regular milk or condensed milk as well as ghee which is clarified butter. In this dairy free and vegan version, I am using almond milk instead of regular milk, coconut oil instead of ghee and almond flour instead of mawa or khoya. Trust me, this version is just as delicious if not better and satisfying.

Perfect Fall / Winter 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.

Carrot Almond Pudding is a traditional Indian dessert called Gajar Halwa. It is served in a white bowl with almond garnish.

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.

Indian Carrot Almond Pudding served in three glass dessert bowls.

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

Close up showing perfectly textured golden hue of Gajar Halwa made in Instant Pot.tofu crumbles.

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, earthy 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 : Use tender and fresh carrots. For ease and convenience, use a food processor instead of manually grating the 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. It adds a nice grainy texture and helps bulk up the halwa.
Cardamom powder : A must have for Indian sweet desserts
Optional Garnishes : Sliced Almonds, rose petals, raisins and saffron

Ingredients used in making vegan gajar halwa.

How to make Gajar Halwa 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.

Process step collage showing six main steps involved in making Instant Pot Gajar Halwa.

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 Store Gajar Halwa

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.

Gajar Halwa served in three glass bowls and large serving container.

Serving it for festivals

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.

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Carrot Almond Pudding is a traditional Indian dessert called Gajar Halwa. It is served in a white bowl with almond garnish.

Instant Pot Gajar Halwa - Vegan Carrot Almond Pudding

Yield: 4 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

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: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 360Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 6gSugar: 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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