Carrot Halva

22 Nov

Carrot Halva

My collection of recipes has grown since I came to live in Pakistan, and now it includes several dishes from the region. My palate has been enriched, and some of my discoveries have become tradition in my family.

This dessert is one of my favorite such additions. It’s perfect in Winter, because it’s warm and rich, sweet and soothing.


1 pound of carrots

2 cups whole milk

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter, unsalted

2 cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

1 whole vanilla bean

3 or 4 whole black peppercorns

2 green cardamom pods

¼ cup blanched slivered almonds

2 or 3 tablespoons raisins (black or golden)

1 tablespoon pistachios, crushed


  1. Peel the carrots and grate them in a food processor until very fine.
  2. Soak the raisins in warm water for about ten minutes to soften them.
  3. Infuse the milk with the cloves, the cinnamon sticks and the vanilla bean by heating it until just before it boils. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Place the grated carrot and the butter in a large pan over medium low heat. Add the peppercorn and the cardamom and fry for about five minutes.
  5. Add the sugar and stir. Cook until the liquid is absorbed. Add the almonds and raisins and cook for a couple of minutes.
  6. Pour the milk into the pan using a strainer. Discard the spices.
  7. Check the sugar and add more if it’s not sweet enough, or a bit of milk if it’s too sweet for your taste. Lower the heat to low and stir occasionally until the milk is absorbed and the carrots are soft.
  8. Remove the cardamom and peppercorns and garnish with the crushed pistachio. Serve warm.

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