Monday, May 18, 2020

Instant Pot Carrot Halwa inspired by The Henna Artist #MultiCookerMonday

Halwa translates to sweet or candy or dessert.  This Halwa made with a base of carrots is pudding like in consistency, candy sweet and beautifully spiced.  The nut and raisin garnish makes for a wonderful texture.  It looks lovely, smells amazing and tastes delicious....a feast for the senses.

Carrot Halwa

I was inspired to make this dish after reading The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi.  I decided to make it in the Instant Pot for this month's Multi-Cooker Monday.

Sue of Palatable Pastime invites fellow bloggers to join her on the third Monday of each month and share a recipe using small appliances.  Here is what we are sharing today.......
I decided to make this Carrot Halwa after reading a novel that I had won in a giveaway from The Book Club Cookbook.  Each month they feature new authors and/or new novels and give you the opportunity to win a copy.  

The Henna Artist - By Alka Joshi (Hardcover) : Target

This novel is about a young woman, Lakshmi, who escapes from an abusive arranged marriage causing her to be cut off from her family and friends.  The novel takes place in the 1950's.  Lakshmi who had always dreamed of marrying for love is forced to marry due to her parent's financial straits.

The marriage is a disaster however Lakshmi becomes very close to her mother in law who teaches Lakshmi about all the different herbs, foods, spices and their medicinal properties, including those that help prevent pregnancy and those that cause pregnancies to abort.  After her escape, Lakshmi finds refuge with the prostitutes who take her in and hide her out in return for her help with contraception, pregnancies and std's.

While living with these women Lakshmi practices the art of henna tattooing and after mastering this is given an opportunity to take up residency in Jaipur and becomes the most sought after henna artist of the rich and famous.  

Life is going very well until the day a young girl enters into Lakshmi's life and her past comes tumbling down before her.......

When Lakshmi would go to her clients to do the tattoos she would always bring a pastry or sweet that contained the herbs and spices needed to help fulfill their desires or ease their worries.

I looked up Indian Pastries and found Halwa listed numerous times.  I chose a Carrot Halwa recipe that I found at Swasthi's Recipes.  I chose this recipe because she shared an Instant Pot version.


I chose Carrot Halwa because I had just purchased a 3 lb bag and could easily spare a pound without having to run back to the store.  I adapted the recipe to fit what I had in the house, using light cream instead of milk and store bought cardamom powder instead of cardamom pods.

Carrot Halwa pin

I wasn't sure what to expect with this dish.  A pudding made with carrots?  As it was cooking, it smelled heavenly.  When it was done, I spooned it into the bowls and then licked the spoon....Oh MY YUM!!  I had to force myself not to dig into one of the bowls for another bite.  

This is very sweet, so a small serving goes a long way.  This recipe makes 4 servings.  The topping is optional but I recommend using at least the toasted nuts which add a great depth of flavor to this delicious dessert.

I will be linking up over at Foodies Read.  Stop by and see what the others are reading this month.

#instantpot, #pudding, #desserts, #carrots, #quick, #easy,
Yield: 4 servings

Carrot Halwa

Carrot Halwa

Halwa translates to sweet or candy or dessert. This Halwa made with a base of carrots is pudding like in consistency, candy sweet and beautifully spiced. The nut and raisin garnish makes for a wonderful texture. It looks lovely, smells amazing and tastes delicious....a feast for the senses.
Prep time: 10 MCook time: 20 MTotal time: 30 M


  • 1 lb, carrots, scraped and cut into chunks
  • 1 c. light cream or whole milk
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 t. cardamom powder
  • 3 T. ghee, divided
  • 1/4 c. chopped nuts (I used a mixture of almonds and cashews)
  • 2 T. raisins


  1. Grate the carrots by placing them into the bowl of a food processor and pulsing 8-10 times until finely minced.
  2. Turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting.  When showing hot, add 1 Tablespoon of the ghee along with the nuts and raisins.  Cook stirring until nuts are golden brown and raisins are plump.  Remove to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the carrots to the instant pot, still on saute setting and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes.  Pour in the milk and mix well, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the instant pot.  Press the cancel button and add the lid to the pot, positioned for pressure cooking.  Using the manual setting cook on high heat for 3 minutes. 
  4. When the instant pot signals cooking is complete, cover the pot with a towel and carefully release the steam manually.  Once the steam is released, open the pot and stir in the sugar, cardamom and remaining ghee.  Turn the pot back to the saute setting and cook, stirring until pudding thickens and the cream is absorbed or evaporated completely.
  5. Divide between 4 serving dishes and garnish with nuts and raisins.  Can be served immediately or refrigerated and served cold.


Cook time includes time needed for instant pot to come to temperature. Recipe adapted from one found at Swasthi's Recipes.
Fat (grams)
Sat. Fat (grams)
Carbs (grams)
Fiber (grams)
Net carbs
Sugar (grams)
Protein (grams)
Sodium (milligrams)
Cholesterol (grams)
Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. Cream must have made this Carrot Halwa even more delicious Wendy! This is my hubby and son in law's favorite.

  2. When I see Halwa at the Indian restaurant for dessert I always make sure to get some. It's usually very sweet and as you say, a little goes a long way. I'm wondering now if I can adapt it to cook in my crock pot, I bet I can.

  3. This is a dish I've never tried! It sound terrific.

    P.S. Now I want to know what happens with the little girl!!!

    1. I am sending the book to Cam and will ask her to forward it to you when she is done with it.

  4. It kinda sounds like carrot cake without the flour, Wendy, and what not to love about that! I've just put "The Henna Artist" ebook on hold at my public library. Cross fingers it will be available soon!

    1. I hope you enjoy it Stacy. My copy is going to Cam and then Karen after Cam is done with it. If you don't get it by the time they are finished I can have Karen send it along to you.

  5. What a unique treat to make, experience, and share! I love the inspiration behind it as well!

  6. Hi, I just love your blog of recipes. Each recipe is unique and awesome. I'm also a food blogger and makes various Indian vegetarian recipes vist my website once at Spicyum. Thanks for sharing these recipes with us.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Ansham. Look forward to visiting your blog.


I enjoy getting comments and feedback from my audience. Please let me know what you think, keeping in mind that we are all entitled to our own beliefs and opinions. I am happy to hear yours as long as they are stated nicely.