If you’ve ever had Gajar ka Halwa, you know just how delicious this Pakistani/Indian dessert can be. The traditional stovetop version can be a little time consuming and tricky to make, but this Instant Pot Carrot Halwa recipe is EVERY bit as authentic – and just MUCH easier.
Naturally gluten-free, this Carrot Halwa recipe requires just 6 ingredients and is made from start to finish in the Instant Pot.
What is Gajar ka Halwa?
Carrot Halwa (Gajar ka Halwa) is a popular Pakistani/Indian dessert made from grated carrots, milk, sugar, ghee (clarified butter), cardamom, and nuts.
(GAJAR KA HALWA)
- 1 strainer
- 1 lb organic carrots (measured after removing tops & ends), tops and ends removed, peeled only where necessary
- 3 tbsp ghee
- 5 green cardamom pods, some slightly cracked open
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 tbsp raw cane sugar or sweetener of choice, depending on how sweet your carrots are
- 1 tbsp slivered pistachios, optional, for garnish
- 1 tbsp slivered almonds, optional, for garnish
- Use the shredder attachment of food processor to thinly grate the carrots, in batches if necessary. Set aside.
- Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and set to More. Once hot, add 2 tbsp of the ghee, cardamom pods, and shredded carrots. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the color starts to change and the carrots reduce down a bit. Add the whole milk and heavy whipping cream and stir to mix.
- Cancel the sauté setting, secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting and set the cooking time to 30 minutes on High pressure.
- Allow the pressure to naturally release for 3-5 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure by moving the Pressure Release to Venting.
- Select the Sauté setting and set to More. Sauté, stirring occasionally until most of the moisture has evaporated and the carrots start sticking to the bottom (~10 minutes).
- Add the remaining 1 tbsp of ghee and sugar and sauté again, scraping the bottom of the pot as you go, for another 8-10 minutes. This step is imperative to bring out the color and flavor.
- Once the the halwa is dry, the ghee starts to separate, and the carrot halwa turns a deep orange (closer to red) color, press the Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot.
- Scoop into a serving dish and decorate with pistachios and almonds, if desired.