Gajrela – Indian Carrot Dessert Recipe

Close up of this carrot based dessert sprinkled with chopped pistachio nuts and a scoop of white vanilla ice cream in the top right hand corner

Gajrela is one of my all time favourite Indian desserts (especially the one my Nan makes) and it is a very popular dessert in India. It is traditionally served at celebrations, such as festivals and weddings and goes perfectly served warm with either kulfi or vanilla ice cream.

The traditional recipe is based around carrots cooked in ghee with milk, cardamom and sugar, however I’ve given my recipe a twist and added orange zest, orange oil and ground almonds to the mix. I introduced this dessert at the supper Clubs I regularly host, where I serve it with a gorgeous chai ice cream that was especially developed by the Brozen Ice Cream company to compliment the wonderful flavours. It has been a huge hit with all my diners, so much so that I also recently demonstrated it at in the Chef’s Theatre of the UK’s biggest Foodies Fest when they were in Bristol

I have also developed the recipe to be suitable for vegans by substituting the ghee/butter with coconut oil and raplacing the cream with soya cream.

What’s In It?

  • 1 tbsp Ghee/Unsalted Butter
  • 1kg Carrots (finely grated)
  • 200ml Single Cream (plus extra to taste)
  • 150g Golden Caster Sugar (plus extra to taste)
  • 100g Ground Almonds
  • Zest of 4 medium Oranges
  • 20 Cardamom Pods (ground)
  • 1tbsp Orange Extract
  • 100g Sultanas (Optional)
  • Chopped Pistachios (Optional)

How Do I Make It?

Heat the ghee/unsalted butter in a large saucepan until melted.

Stir in the grated carrots and cook for 5 minutes, making sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add the orange zest, orange extract and ground cardamom seeds to the carrot. Mix well and cook for a further 5 minutes, continuing to stir regularly, so that the mixture doesn’t stick.

Add 100ml of the single cream, stir and then lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remember to stir every now and again so that the mixture doesn’t burn.

When the mixture has absorbed the cream and reduced ever so slightly, stir in the sugar and cook for a further 15 minutes. Keep stirring.

Pour in the remaining single cream (and the sultanas if using), stir and cook on a low heat for a further 15 minutes. And yep you guessed it – keep stirring!

Stir in the ground almonds and continue to slow cook on a low heat for 5-10 minutes until the mixture has absorbed and reduced. You’ll know it ready when the mixture starts to come together in a ball and look fudge-like.

Serve warm, sprinkled with chopped pistachio (if using) and a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

TOP TIP – This is one of those recipes that just gets better and better the longer you leave it, so try eating it a couple of days after you’ve made it. Although let’s be honest… it’s unlikely to last more than a day!

The Art of Healthy Living Taste Test

A pudding that sounds as if it’s going to be an ooey, gooey, chewy version of carrot cake and demands vanilla ice cream to be served with it… well it certainly made my eyes light up that’s for sure! It takes a bit of time and attention granted, but I made this with my daughter and we both loved seeing how the mixture slowly reduced down and become more sticky. Plus, if you help out you get to taste… and taste we did!

I tried it out on the family for pudding one evening and it went down a storm, with all of us mmm’ing and yumming our way through it, and more or less licking the bowls out at the end. Luckily for me, I saved a bit to pop in the fridge for another day and I can confirm it tastes just as yummy cold as it does warm.

I’d never have thought that the combination of carrots and cream could produce such a heavenly tasting pudding, but my goodness each and every single one of those mouthfuls was pure bliss. Plus you gotta love a pudding that gets a veggie into your kids without them realising!!

Anupreet Attridge is a married mum of two who has a passion for fusion cooking and is a self-confessed beauty junkie. She currently teaches Indian Cookery and is in the process of writing her own cookbook.

Anupreet has hosted 2 successful pop up restaurant evenings at the Primrose Cafe in Bristol and has recently made her debut appearance at the Bristol Foodies Festival where she demoed this very dessert!

She draws her inspiration from various styles and cultures and focuses on using unprocessed, organic and unrefined ingredients.

You can find another one of her recipes here —>

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