Inspired by the popular Indian dessert Carrot Halwa, this simple Carrot Halwa jelly is made with carrots, cardamom & Agar. (VEGAN + GF)
Spring is almost here, and that’s got me dreaming of summer, mangoes and the sun! I was thinking of cool new desserts to create for the summer (something that demands to be served cold!) and the first thing that popped into my head was the Mango and Coconut Jelly from last year! Which in turn got me wondering if there were other desserts that I could turn into jellies!
The Beetroot Halwa is my absolute favourite and wayyy too sacred for me to mess with. So I picked the second in line – Carrot Halwa! And I am pleased to report that the experiment was a wild success!
I would usually just use a pyrex bowl or a small loaf tin to mold these jellies (and so can you) but I found using this silicone ice-cube mold from IKEA wildly satisfying. I also used powdered agar agar in this recipe, but if you want to work with other forms of agar, I recommend reading ‘All you need to know about Agar‘, the infographic at the end in particular, for proper conversion.
Whatever you are using for a mold, make sure that when you pour each layer, if forms atleast a 1/2 inch thickness all around. Gajar Halwa or traditional Carrot Halwa is served warm, and sometimes unconventionally with vanilla ice-cream. I bet this Carrot Halwa jelly will also taste awesome if served chilled with a big giant scoop of ice-cream!
I also made an awesome Mint Gel for a contrast in flavour + color and to add a kick to the carrots. Be sure to use sparingly though – it packs quite a punch! My grandmother is one of the few ‘grown-ups’ who does not like to eat vegetables. So if your kids are like my grandmother, this would be a perfect way to sneak in some vitamin A and beta-carotene into their desserts.
Here are some things you might want to remember:
- Carrots are naturally sweet to a certain degree, but they vary widely. So as you add the sugar prescribed in the recipe below, taste it yourself. You want it to be ‘sickeningly’ sweet before you pour it into the molds – because as it cools, sets and chills, it will loose some of that sweetness. With my measurements (trying to reduce sugar in my life), you’ll get a dessert that is just barely sweet.
- Agar agar powder is not the same as agar agar flakes that you’ve pulverized in the blender. Check out this post for correct conversion ratios.
- The mint gel is absolutely optional to make, but I thought it went great together.
- The texture of this jelly is more on the firm side, but if you want a softer, more wobbly jelly, reduce the amount of agar (both layers) by half. It might take longer to set though.
- If cardamom is not your favourite flavour, swap it with some vanilla extract instead! Stir in the vanilla just before you pour the jelly into the molds.
When you make these (which I really think you SHOULD!), be sure to SHARE YOUR PHOTOS with me through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I’d love to see what you cook from here and will share it with pride on my social media feeds.
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