21 Apr

Vegan sugar-free gajar halwa

Preparing this dessert is a great work-out for your arms, with all the grating and stirring that it involves. But that does not stop me from making this again and again and again… and I bet you’ll say the same after you make it. So let’s get started.


Red carrots: 1 kg

Coconut milk : 200ml [or of half coconut]

Cardamom powder : 2 tsp

Almonds, raisins, pistachios, cashews: as much as you like

Dates: 15 – 20

Dry dates or khareek: 10 [soaked in warm water for 30 minutes]

How to:

1] Wash, peel and grate the carrots.

2] Take a thick bottom vessel. Add the grated carrot and saute till the raw taste goes away. You may want to do this on medium heat so that it does not get burnt. Stir occasionally.

3] In the meantime, you can prepare the coconut milk and keep it ready. Grind half of a fresh coconut in the grinder. Add warm water to this. Let it stand for 10 – 15 minutes. Then strain it and you have your coconut milk. You can also save some grated coconut that remains after the milk is extracted and add it to the halwa later.  You can also use ready-to-use coconut milk, but fresh is better of course.

4] Also de-seed and puree the dates adding some water.

5] After the carrot loses enough moisture and reduces in quantity, then add the coconut milk, date paste, cardamom powder, khareek  and dry fruits. You can add the khareek either powdered or chopped. Now the arm work-out begins. To get perfect gajar halwa it’s best to cook this on a low flame and keep stirring. This easily takes about an hour and half.

6] Once the halwa dries up completely, you can add some of the grated coconut that you had saved while extracting coconut milk. And your healthy, guilt-free dessert is ready to be relished.


You can adjust the number of dates and khareek as per your taste preference. If the carrots are sweet by themselves you will need to use less of these.



16 Mar

The quest for the perfect vegan gajar halwa

2016 started on a great note. I was one of the lucky few who got to attend the training programme for consultants with Dr Nandita Shah from SHARAN. I was part of this small but  vibrant group of doctors, from different streams of medicine, who were all passionate about healing diseases with food and lifestyle changes. The 2 days that we spent together were power packed with learning and also meeting patients who were committed to reversing their diseases through plant-based nutrition.

Another big highlight of the training course [as with any event organised by SHARAN] was the food! It was vegan, oil-free and oh so delicious.

On day 1 the dessert was vegan gajar halwa and day 2 was vegan chocolate ice-cream. To be honest, when I saw the gajar halwa, I thought to myself…. hmm… that looks like something I will skip. For me, if the healthier alternative to the real thing does not taste as good, or at least close to the real thing then I rather not have it altogether. I’m not one of those who can pretend to relish a lame attempt at matching up to the actual ‘unhealthy’ version of the dish.

BUT after I heard the oohs and wows from everyone else at the table I had to dig in. And truth be told, it was delicious!! Mayavi from My Pure Path sure has magic in her hands. I later discovered that this was ‘raw vegan gajar halwa’ that we were served. That explained its salad-like appearance. Soon there were recipes being shared across the table by those who had tried making this guilt-free dessert. It was so good that we gobbled it up during the evening snack time too. Here’s a photo that Dr Saravanan clicked before we demolished the dessert 😀

raw gajar halwa

Now I did get the recipe for the raw version but first happened to share it with a friend who tried it and told me it tasted great. On probing further she confessed that it tasted fine, but not great. What did that mean? “Well it does taste bit raw, but you can eat it if you warm it”   🙂  “But then it’s healthy na, it has to taste little different”, she added. I don’t know what was missing in our recipe, may be it was Mayavi’s magic touch.

And that’s when I decided to adapt the recipe and am mighty pleased with the final product  🙂 It’s dairy-free and sugar-free. So no milk, no ghee, no oil, no mawa and no sugar.

I will share the recipe in the next post. For now make do with the picture and thank you for your patience  😛

gajar halwa