On the first night of a week of wedding celebrations I stepped almost straight off the plane and into a sort of home-made dance routine. The idea was that the bride would perform various songs with friends whilst the rest of the friends could be entertained watching the often more than slightly hysterical performance.

recipe for carrot halwa

A kind of cabaret….

In fact it was a kind of cabaret – one would go to a buffet at the back of the room, make a selection from various curries, and return to one’s place to watch the rest of the show. Somehow I’d failed to realise that there was also a pud, and the bride’s mother kindly scooped me up and showed me what to do.

I was busy chortling at the happy antics on the stage when I suddenly became conscious that what I was putting in my mouth was really rather good…. excellent in fact. A kind of Indian ice cream (kulfi – subject of a separate post) with something alluringly sweet and warm. I think a rich, off-the-shelf Devon ice cream is fine instead of the kulfi.

I asked Sita what it was and she told me it was Carrot Halwa…. and the good news is that it’s easy and perfectly possible to make in the UK. This is what to do.


Recipe for Indian Carrot Halwa


For about eight


  • 450g/1 pound carrots, peeled and shredded (it’s quicker in a magimix)
  • 480ml/2 cups milk
  • 40g/ ¼ cup raisins
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 100g/½ cup granulated sugar – or you could use jaggery
  • 50g/¼ cup chopped cashews dry fried
  • pinch salt


  1. Put the carrots, milk, raisins, and salt in a medium saucepan and get good and hot.
  2. crush the cardamom pods, remove the seeds and add the seeds to the saucepan.
  3. Continue to cook for an hour or so – until the mix is more solid than liquid.
  4. Stir in the sugar – taste it – if it needs more sugar add more sugar. Stir in and continue to cook for another five minutes or so – the mixture should be quite stiff by now.
  5. Serve, garnished with the cashews.


This post is dedicated to Sita Kodali

halwa recipe

Indian carrot halwa with rich Devonshire ice cream