There’s this wonderful taste of childhood, a dessert made out of carrots, with a lovely milky taste, redolent with cardamom, with the occasional bite of a sweet raisin or cashew in it. It’s a special memory, and one I cherish. But there are three problems with making it. One, it takes literally hours to make, two, it needs a special milk solid called Khoya which isn’t widely available in the States and three, it has a ton of sugar in it. Having needing the time, the khoya nor the desire to consume sugar, I had to come up with a different way of approaching this.
So of course I turned to my handy dandy Instant Pot to try this. The texture is a little different than halva made with khoya, but the taste is the same. I’m so excited at being able to make this so easily and happy to be able to share this with anyone who wants to try a hands-off version of Gajjar Halva.
Let me warn you, this recipe works, but when you open the pot you’re going to be horrified and think you messed up because everything looks like a big curdled mess. It’s not. Milk separates under pressure, but to me, this is what helps thicken up the final product. It’s actually acts like ersatz version of Khoya, which is milk solids with the water evaporated out of it. Just keep calm, stir it well, and you’ll find the milk solids get incorporated back into the dish, and thicken up the final dish.
- Melt ghee in your Instant Pot, and then add the cashews and raisins. Fry them until the cashews are golden brown.
Add all other ingredients except cardamom and cook at High Pressure for 10 minutes. Let it release pressure naturally.
- Open up the lid and do not freak out at the curdled milk. It will homogenize shortly. Just stir it up really well.
Smoosh the carrots together a bit, and cook on Sauté for a few minutes to thicken the mixture.
- Add the cardamom and let it rest for a while to thicken up. This can be eaten hot, cold, or at room temperature.
- Feel free to pour in a little heavy cream or half and half if you're trying to add fat to your diet--or taste to your life.