Cook's Hideout: Afghani Carrot Halwa (Carrot and Ricotta Halva)

February 26, 2015

Afghani Carrot Halwa (Carrot and Ricotta Halva)

Blogging Marathon# 49: Week 4/ Day 3
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes
Dish: Afghani Carrot Halwa
I'm ending this month's marathon on a sweet note with this rich and decadent 'Carrot Halwa' that I bookmarked from 'The New Middle Eastern Vegetarian' cookbook by Sally Butcher. Halwa is very similar to our very own Carrot Halwa with a few additional ingredients like ricotta cheese and powdered milk.
Afghani Carrot Halwa (Carrot and Ricotta Halva)
This is one of the recipes that caught my attention as soon as I saw it in the cookbook. I was looking for an opportunity to make this dessert ever since. Carrot halwa is one of my husband's favorite and with him travelling, I didn't want to make this dish just for myself. So finally made it as soon as he got back.

This Afghani version of carrot halwah/ halva is very rich and can be served as halwa with soft consistency or can be chilled and made into terrific and unusual petit four or burfi. The author also suggests using this as a filling for a tart by piling it into a pie crust and serve with some creme fraiche on the side.
Afghani Carrot Halwa (Carrot and Ricotta Halva)
I bought some colorful carrots from Trader Joes and used them make this dish. I was worried how the final color would turn out when all the different carrots were mixed together, but thankfully it turned out just fine. Traditionally carrots are grated for this recipe, but the author suggests blending the carrots with the milk into a smooth mixture. Being too lazy to grate the carrots, I went ahead and blended my colorful carrots into a smooth paste. 
Carrots - 8~10 medium, peeled and chopped
Milk - ½cup
Sugar - 1¾cups
Unsalted Butter or ghee - ⅓cup (5tbsp+2tsp)
Ground Cardamom - ¼tsp 
Ricotta Cheese - 1½cups
Powdered Milk - 1cup
Almonds - ⅓cup, chopped 
Pistachios - ¼cup
Raisins - ⅓cup

  • Melt 1tbsp ghee or unsalted butter in a pan; add the almonds, pistachios and raisins and saute till golden. Remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl and set aside until later.
  • Grind the chopped carrots along with the milk into a smooth paste.
  • Melt the ghee/ unsalted butter in a heavy bottomed pan, add the carrot mixture and cook on low heat until the carrots are cooked through, about 20~25 minutes.
  • Add the sugar and till the sugar is dissolved.
  • In the meantime, mix ricotta and powdered milk well into a smooth mixture without any lumps. 
  • Add the ricotta mixture into the hot carrot mix. Cook gently until the mixture is thick and creamy. Halwa can be served as halwa at this stage or cook till the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan, about 10~15 minutes more and then pour the mixture into a greased 9" square pan and let chill. Then cut into pieces to petit four or burfi.
Afghani Carrot Halwa (Carrot and Ricotta Halva)
Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 49


  1. Mouth watering after I see this pic.Afgani halwa is very yummy.

  2. I have cooked quite a few recipes from the cook book that you have mentioned. I love those colorful carrots and blending them sounds easy. I have made something similar to this from an Turkish cook book and it had powdered coconut in it as well. Looks so delicious :)

  3. Colorful carrots and loved the burfi outcome along with cheese.I too want to try carrot halwa with some cheese

  4. Wow, those colourful carrots looks super catchy, halwa looks absolutely decadent.

  5. Bookmarking this recipe.. with cheese and milk powder sounds yumm

  6. I love these colorful carrots, haven't seen yello ones, so definitely a visual treat. The halwa sounds yum , would love to try it while the carrots are still in bloom.

  7. Wow never actually seen the coloured carrots..very nice one pavani..the halwa looks heavenly..

  8. love the texture of this halva and I too like to buy the rainbow carrots

  9. The colored carrots look great and this halwa yummy.


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