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White oval bowl with gajar halwa

Afghani Carrot Halwa (Carrot and Ricotta Halva)

Creamy, decadent and delicious Afghani carrot halwa made with ricotta cheese and dry milk powder. Recipe is easy to make and is perfect dessert for any occasion.
Author: Pavani
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Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Afghan
Servings: 12 servings


  • 8~10 Medium Carrots, peeled
  • ¼ cup Unsalted Butter or ghee, divided
  • 1~1½ cups Sugar*
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Cardamom
  • cups Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 cup Powdered Milk
  • ¼ cup Nuts, chopped (almonds, pistachios, cashews etc)
  • 3 tablespoons Raisins


  • Grate the peeled carrots using the small holes of a grater. You can also grind them along with ¼~½ cup of milk into a smooth paste.
  • Soak raisins in water and set aside.
  • Melt ghee/ unsalted butter in a heavy bottomed pan on medium-low heat. Add the grated and ground cardamom. Cook until they are cooked through and tender, about 15~20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the carrots are cooking, combine ricotta cheese and powdered milk in a medium size bowl. Mix well into a smooth mixture without any lumps.
  • Add sugar to the carrots and cook till dissolved.
  • Stir in the the ricotta mixture and mix well. Cook gently until the mixture is thick and creamy, about 5~7 minutes.
  • Drain the raisins and add to the pan along with the other nuts. Mix well. At this stage, halva will have a soft consistency and can be served in a bowl.
  • If you want to make into squares/ diamonds, then cook till the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan, about 10~15 minutes more. Then pour the mixture into a greased 9″ square pan and let chill to set, about 2~3 hours. Cut into pieces to petit four or burfi.


  • Traditionally carrots are finely grated for this recipe. But you make carrot halwa without grating as well. Just blend the carrots with some milk into a smooth mixture and use.
  • I prefer whole milk ricotta cheese for the best texture. But part skim will work great too.
  • You can use either full fat or skim dry milk powder.
  • Adjust the quantity of sugar based on the sweetness of the carrots used.
  • You can skip the nuts and raisins.
  • Leftover halwa keeps well in an airtight container for up to 1 week. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months.


Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 356mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 7148IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 184mg | Iron: 1mg
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