A fragrant Paleo Gajar Ka Halwa that tastes just like the real thing, only it’s with slightly healthier ingredients and a secret ingredient… rose water.
Growing up in the United States, it was difficult to get into the spirit of Diwali.
For one, there was no exchange of mithai (sweets) with our neighbors, family and friends. There was no lighting of diyas (candles) inside and outside the house due to fire hazards. And we certainly didn’t mess with sparklers.
Think about it, soon after Halloween was over, it was all about Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The malls were decorated with Christmas trees and lights, and you could hear Christmas music in the background. The smell of apple cider and hot chocolate was everywhere. Holiday season was in the air, and the spirit of Christmas could be felt a mile away. As a kid, it’s apparent why I gravitated more towards Christmas than Diwali.
With that said, although we didn’t celebrate the “more exciting” parts of Diwali per se, we did celebrate the two most important components of Diwali – a puja (prayer) followed by a decadent dinner.
This is the first year I’m away from home on Diwali, and I can tell you exactly what’s on my Mom’s menu… Halwa, Matar Paneer, deep-fried Poori, Dahi Bhalle, Pakoray or Kachodi. Once dinner is over, we proceed with chai along with my Mom’s Kheer. Clearly, my mom made dishes that were rather indulgent on Diwali which was such a treat.
This year I’ll be celebrating Diwali in California with my husband, and I’ll be thinking about my family back home along with my Mom’s mouthwatering food.
Wishing you all a very Happy Diwali! May the new year bring you peace, light, joy, prosperity and health!
Now, if you love Gajar ka Halwa (Indian Carrot Pudding), I promise you will love the paleo version as well, only that it’s made with paleo-approved ingredients, including ghee. I know! Hope you give this recipe a try.
This Paleo Gajar Ka Halwa is:
Lightened up, but not healthy
Uses Dairy-free milk
Perfect for the holidays
Paleo Gajar Ka Halwa | Indian Carrot Pudding (gluten-free, lightened up)
- 6 organic medium carrots, peeled & shredded
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 2 cups unsweetened cashew nut milk, I used Elmhurst brand*
- 6 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/2 tsp rose water, optional
- 2 tbsp unsalted cashews, dry roasted & chopped
- slivered almonds & pistachios as garnish
- Peel the carrots.</br></br>
- Shred the carrots in a food processor or by hand.</br></br>
- Heat a wok on medium heat, and add ghee.</br></br>
- Once melted, add the shredded carrots and stir on and off for 10 minutes.</br></br>
- This is what you should have after 10 minutes.</br></br>
- Add the cashew nut milk.</br></br>
- Stir and bring the carrots and milk to a boil, the milk will reduce.</br></br>
- You'll see bubbles forming, stir every couple minutes.</br></br>
- The milk amount will reduce.</br></br>
- At this time, add the coconut sugar.</br></br>
- Stir and cook for about 3-5 minutes until there is no liquid left.</br></br>
- Add cardamom powder and rose water.</br></br>
- Cook for a minute and turn off the stove.</br></br>
- In the meantime, roast the cashews over medium heat for a few minutes.</br></br>
- Chop the cashews.</br></br>
- Add to the carrots and stir.</br></br>
- Garnish with slivered almonds and/or pistachios. Enjoy hot/warm/cold.</br>
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