Bright orange carrot halwa in a round serving dish topped with halved cashew nuts. As prepared at The Bangala, Karaikudi.

People always associate spicy food with India but it doesn’t take long when travelling in the country to realize all that heat is balanced with an incredible array of sweet treats. This carrot halwa is a pudding that delivers satiety. A little bit at the end of a meal is all you need. It is another dish from our friend Karrupiah and the team at The Bangala in Karaikudi in the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu. Stay tuned for two more great recipes over the next few posts.

Carrot Halwa Recipe

6 - 8 servings


1/2 cup fine ravai (semolina)
9 Tablespoons ghee – divided (5 then 4)
12 unsalted cashews
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups of grated carrots (about 3 1/2 medium carrots)
1 cup homogenized milk
2/3 cup (250 grams) sweetened evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground green cardamom seeds
5 teaspoons sweet khoya*

*Khoya is whole of full-cream milk reduced over medium heat to a dry-ish, solid state. Use an equal quantity of condensed milk or sweetened evaporated milk if kyoya is not available, but regulate the sugar if your substitute is sweetened.


  1. Dry roast the semolina in a large kadhai (wok) unitl golden – about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove the semolina to a bowl and set it aside to cool.
  2. Add 1 Tablespoon of ghee and the cashew nuts to the same wok and saute for one minute or once they are lightly browned. Set them aside in another bowl.
  3. Add the flour to the khadai over medium heat with 4 Tablespoons of the ghee and cook, stirring for about 15 seconds. Remove to a bowl and wipe the khadai clean with a cloth.
  4. Add the grated carrots  to the kadhai over medium heat along with the whole milk. Stir frequently for 3 to 4 minutes, making sure the milk does not stick to the bottom. Reduce the heat to low and cover for 2 minutes. Uncover, add the roasted semolina and stir to combine. Add the flour-ghee moisture while continuing to stir, mashing lightly.
  5. Add the condensed milk to the kadhai, stirring well. Once the halwa thickens slightly, 3 to 4 minutes, add the sugar and stir vigorously.
  6. Add the last 4 Tablespoons of ghee and stir. Add roasted cashew nuts, cardamom powder and khoya. Stir until well mixed, for about 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and enjoy.

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