Gajar Halwa with Orange & Saffron

August 15, 2016mayurisjikoni
Blog post

Recipe: Gajar Halwa With Orange & Saffron

Gajar Halwa With Orange & Saffron is a fusion recipe whereby I’ve prepared the traditional gajar or carrot halwa but have added fresh orange juice too. Absolutely delicious and pure indulgence with flavours of orange and saffron to celebrate any occasion like India’s Independence Day.

Our#FoodieMonday#Bloghop group is celebrating Independence in style through food. Our 53rd theme is #tricolorteamrecipes. For this theme the members are divided into three groups:

Saswati  who made Zarda pulao
and I are in the Orange group. 

Wagmee made Triple C ladoo
Sujata made Kesar Pista Sandesh
 They are in the White group. 

Kriti made hara bhara seekh kebab
Nisa made Peas coconut halwa
as they are in the green group. 

What is Independence?

What does independence mean? According to the Cambridge dictionary it means freedom from being governed or ruled by another country. Independence means living a life without being influenced or helped by others. On 15th August, India will celebrate its 70th Independence Day or Swatantra din. India got its independence from the British Empire in 1947. With each Independence Day we are also reminded of the Partition of India and Pakistan. It holds bitter memories for many families.

An Indian Born In Kenya

Every Independent country or State that looks after its citizens, makes its citizens feel proud and patriotic. As an Indian born in Kenya, what are my feelings and thoughts for India? I am lucky to have a strong connection with India though having been brought up in Kenya. My mother was born and brought up in India.

My father sent me to a boarding school in Mt.Abu when I was only 12 (Uganda exodus scared all the Asian communities in East Africa). I got admission in Sophia High School in May and my first India Independence Day celebration was a memorable one. We had to wear our girl guide’s uniform which was white salwar kameez with a blue dupatta and white tackies as we called them. The flag was hoisted and we sang the National Anthem and other patriotic songs. After the ceremony we all got nice orange laddoos and the rest of the day was spent with a trip to the town, good food and a sweet treat again in the evening.

This whole experience had a great impact on me as it was the first such Independence Day ceremony I participated in.

Don’t get me wrong Kenya too celebrates its Independence Day but normally during that time schools are on holiday (12th December). We would watch the President hoist the flag, sing the National Anthem and watch the parade on the television. My husband qualified as a doctor from India, my kids went to high school in India. So India figures in a big way in our lives. Our annual holidays are to India. 

What The Tiranga Represents

We all have to prepare a traditional dish according to our colour theme. You may be wondering why those colours. The tiranga or the Indian flag has a band of 3 equidistant colours. The orange, saffron or bhagwa colour on top denotes courage and sacrifice or selflessness. The white in the middle represents honesty, peace and purity and the green at the bottom symbolizes fertility or growth, vibrancy and prosperity. The Ashoka Chakra or Wheel of Law with 24 spokes appears in blue in the middle. To know more about the Indian flag read here.


Vande Mataram

Before I introduce the recipe to you, I’ve got to explain what the above title Vande Mataram means. It means I pray/bow down to thee Mother. Here the reference is to our Motherland India. Many Indians living outside India still have a strong connection to the Motherland and feel proud to be Indians.

Though to some this may appear as a split loyalty to India and Kenya, I believe that probably some of us are very fortunate to profess our loyalties to not one but two nations. This helps us to create a better understanding of different cultures and live in harmony with all. I bow down to my Motherland and my birthplace too.


Gajar Halwa

For this theme I would have loved to prepare something elaborate but I’ve been really busy this week with a Shrimad Bhagwat Saptah. This whole week saptah hosted by hubby’s Mama and Mama is a family affair which requires me to be there most of the day.  So haven’t been able to plan a proper India Independence Day theme.

To celebrate India’s Independence Day, here’s a Gajar Halwa recipe with both orange and saffron flavours. The orange halwa is the main colour and by sprinkling almonds and pistachios on top I have incorporated the tiranga(tricolours) colours. Was lucky enough to be able to take this halwa as an offering to Lord Krishna during the Saptah.


Ingredients Required For Gajar Halwa With Orange & Saffron / Carrot Halwa

Carrots – washed, peeled and grated on the fine side of the grater.

Full Fat Milk – 3.25% full fat milk works well as it is creamy. It is also known as whole milk.

Orange Juice – use freshly squeezed orange juice. Remove the seeds.

Sugar – use white for a lovely orange colour. Brownish sugar will give a dull orange colour.

Raisins – optional, but I love to add them.

Saffron – about ¼ tsp. Soak it in hot milk, about 2-3 tbsp taken from the measured milk. Allow the saffron to infuse in the hot milk for at least 15 minutes.

Milk Powder – to help thicken the halwa. Can replace the milk powder with ¼ cup ready made khoya or mawa (milk solids).

Ghee – clarified butter, is the best for that distinct flavour and aroma. For stir frying the carrots and also to add to the milk powder.

Orange Blossom Water – for flavouring

Chopped Almonds and Pistachios – for garnishing



Gajar Halwa With Orange & Saffron is a fusion recipe whereby I've prepared the traditional gajar or carrot halwa but have added fresh orange juice too. Absolutely delicious and pure indulgence with flavours of orange and saffron to celebrate any occasion like India's Independence Day.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4


  • 500 g carrots peeled and finely grated
  • 2 cups fresh whole milk
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • cups white sugar
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • ¼ TSP saffron strands
  • ¼ cup milk powder
  • 2 tbsp ghee clarified butter
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tbsp almond and pistachios chopped
  • 1 tsp ghee


  • Take 1 tsp ghee from the measured amount. Add into the milk powder. Add 1 tbsp milk(take from the measured milk) and mix into a crumbly consistency. This is homemade instant khoya (mawa). Leave on the side till required.
  • Heat 2 tbsp milk from the measured amount till it becomes hot. Add the saffron and allow it to infuse for 10-15 minutes.
  • Heat ghee in a pan over low heat.
  • Add the grated carrots and stir fry for 5 -7 minutes. At this stage the carrots will become a bit pale and soft.
  • Add milk. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently till the milk is reduced to half the quantity. This will take about 15-20 minutes. Don't be tempted to cook over high heat as the halwa will burn.
  • Add the milk powder mixture, saffron milk, orange juice and sugar. Mix well. At this stage the mixture will become liquid again. But don't worry.
  • Cook the mixture further till no more liquid is left. This will take another 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir frequently so that the mixture does not burn or stick to the bottom.
  • When the halwa is done, the carrots will be cooked, and no liquid will be left in the pan. The mixture will also come away from the sides of the pan.
  • At this stage add the raisins and extra 1 tsp ghee. Mix well.
  • Take the pan off the heat. Add the orange blossom water and mix well.
  • Spoon the gajar halwa into serving bowls. Sprinkle the top with chopped almonds and pistachios.
  • Serve hot gajar halwa.
  • Another exciting and my favourite way to serve hot gajar halwa is with a dollop of ice cream.


  • To prepare traditional gajar halwa add 1 cup of milk instead of orange juice and add cardamom powder instead of orange blossom water.
  • Slightly brown sugar will not give you the required orange colour, so use white sugar.
  • Don't cook the halwa over high heat.
  • Add ¼ cup fresh khoya or mawa instead of the milk powder.

Pin for Later:

A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962


  • alkajena

    August 15, 2016 at 7:26 am

    This Gajar Ka Halwa looks awesome, perfect for the occasion.Happy Independence Day Mayuri

  • Kriti Singhal

    August 15, 2016 at 8:04 am

    I am so much in love with your write up Mayuri Di…Your childhood, your love for India.. Simply beautiful and close to heart.. Loved the recipe! 🙂

  • beena stephen

    August 15, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Perfect dessert for this day dear. Happy Independence day.

  • Nisa @ Flavour Diary

    August 15, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Away from loved motherland makes you feel missed on all special occasions…Dee your halwa is mouthwatering and delicious …happy independence Day

  • Seena Koshy

    August 15, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Gajar ka Halwa looks tempting Mayuri. It's an apt dessert for this great day to celebrate..

  • Pushpita Singh

    August 15, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Tempting and flavourful share Di! The citrusy aroma and tangy flavour of the orange juice have compelled me to imagine the taste of the Halwa! ���� So getting tempted! Bookmarking this innovative recipe idea of yours. Wishing you a Happy Independence Day in advance!

  • Sujata Roy

    August 15, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Yummy gajar halwa and beautiful bowl. Loved it.
    Happy Independence Day 😊

  • Saswati Hota

    August 16, 2016 at 3:06 am

    Dee bookmarking this too…orange flavoured gajar ka halwa is new for me..and such a beautiful post 😍

  • Swathi Iyer

    August 16, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Gajar ka halwa looks delicious my favorite.

  • Mayuri Patel

    August 18, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Thanks Alka.

  • Mayuri Patel

    August 18, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks Kriti.

  • Mayuri Patel

    August 18, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks you Beena.

  • Mayuri Patel

    August 18, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Yes, though I wasn't born there, still feel I miss India.

  • Mayuri Patel

    August 18, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you Seena.

  • Mayuri Patel

    August 18, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks Pushpita, got the idea from carrot orange muffins and also thought that orange and saffron combined taste really heavenly.

  • Mayuri Patel

    August 18, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Thanks Sujata. The bowl was a present for my nephew's wedding and I too love it.

  • Mayuri Patel

    August 18, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Thanks Saswati. Try it, its different and not too sweet.

  • Mayuri Patel

    August 18, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Thanks Swati.

  • A to Z Essays

    August 11, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Really tempting Halwa Recipe.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 12, 2019 at 6:19 am


  • FoodTrails

    August 13, 2019 at 6:57 am

    Loved orange flavored Gajar ka Halwa with saffron.. never tried this combination and will love to give it a try someday..looks so inviting and !!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 13, 2019 at 6:24 pm

      It tastes very different Swaty, try it some day and make sure you use sweet fresh orange juice.

      1. FoodTrails

        August 13, 2019 at 9:40 pm

        Surely , will keep in mind whenever I make it!!

  • Vanitha Bhat

    August 13, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    My mouth is watering just looking at this deliciousness! Making this soon 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 13, 2019 at 6:23 pm

      Thanks Vanitha.

  • Renu Agrawal Dongre

    August 14, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Orange juice in gajar halwa is a wonderful twist to the traditional halwa. Something very different and unique. Love the lovely deep orange colour it has got.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 19, 2019 at 9:09 pm

      Thank you so much Renu. Try it, it tastes different.

  • Mireille Roc (@ChefMireille)

    August 14, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    the colors and garnish look so pretty and I’m sure it tastes as delicious as it looks

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 19, 2019 at 9:08 pm

      It does Mireille, thank you so much.

  • MJ

    August 14, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    I love carrot halwa and this orange flovoured halwa sounds amazing. Lovely colour and texture.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 19, 2019 at 9:08 pm

      Thank you so much.

  • Jolly

    August 17, 2019 at 11:48 am

    I love gajar halwa, this is one of the dessert i’ld Love to eat anytime. Love this app leaking orange coloured of gajar halwa & such a beautiful creation with orange juice. Tempting share!!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 19, 2019 at 9:03 pm

      Thanks Jolly.

  • Shobha Keshwani

    August 15, 2021 at 2:44 am

    5 stars
    Very delicious gajar halwa. Eventhough I am not fond of sweets this halwa is something that I really love. Saffron and cardamoms lend a Divine flavour to this halwa.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 15, 2021 at 7:24 pm

      Thank you Shobha, though for this particular preparation I’ve not used cardamom as I used orange blossom water, with cardamom too it tastes good.

  • Sujata Roy

    August 16, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    5 stars
    I always love fusion recipes. What an innovative idea to make gajar halwa with saffron and orange mixed flavour. I can imagine the heavenly taste. Waiting for winter to get good carrot and try this awesome gajar halwa. Can I use orange essence instead of orange blossom water?

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 16, 2021 at 11:09 pm

      Thank you so much Sujata, I’m not a fan of orange essence as it tastes different. Use fresh orange zest instead.

  • Archana

    August 17, 2021 at 12:41 am

    Belated Independence Day greetings to you, Mayuri.
    This recipe of gajar halwa with orange juice is delicious. What intrigued me is how you managed it without the milk curdling. I loved your recipe and will try it. The instant khoya is something I must try too.

    A must make recipe. Will try it I winter right now I am avoiding buying carrots.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 25, 2021 at 2:24 pm

      Thanks Archana, all the milk gets cooked and becomes solid so there is no question of curdling occurring.

  • Kalyani

    August 17, 2021 at 1:11 am

    5 stars
    So lovely to read about ur nostalgic memories of I-day celebrations. Am sure that were some memorable moments. The gajar halwa with orange ans saffeon makes for a very excited me to try this out soon

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 18, 2021 at 4:02 pm

      Please do try out the recipe Kalyani

  • Priya Vj

    August 17, 2021 at 5:31 am

    5 stars
    Infusing orange juice in gajar halwa is new to me . The citrus flavor will cut the sweetness of the sugar and carrots and give a refreshing after taste. I will deftly try this combination during this winter .

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 18, 2021 at 3:59 pm

      Thank you so much Priya, The oranges we get here are very sweet and not sour. So it really doesn’t cut the sweetness as such. However, it adds a refreshing orange flavour.

  • Preethicuisine

    August 17, 2021 at 8:39 am

    5 stars
    Carrot halwa with saffron and orange is so flavourful and delicious. A royal treat to all sweet lovers. Can’t wait to try your recipe to treat my family .

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 18, 2021 at 3:58 pm

      Thank you so much Preethi. Please try out the recipe.

  • Jolly

    August 18, 2021 at 9:57 am

    5 stars
    I can almost smell the aroma of that yummy halwa! This sounds so delicious! I have never actually tried gakar halwa with orange carrots, but love all the fruits juice and nuts in there, sounds like my kind of sweet 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 18, 2021 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks Jolly, here in Kenya we only get orange variety so that is what we use.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    August 18, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    5 stars
    Carrot halwa with orange juice looks good and must be tasty. It makes a perfect dessert to mark the Independence day with the vibrant saffron colour. I had thought you were an Indian born settled in Kenya.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 18, 2021 at 3:51 pm

      Thank you so much Jayashree, I agree with you prefect for the celebration. And very much a Kenyan with an Indian heart:)

  • Neha

    August 9, 2023 at 5:31 am

    5 stars
    Mayuri your story is as interesting as the recipe. You have traversed from recipe to colors, to allegiance towards nations and cultures. This shows the enormity of the culinary world. It knows no borders. By the way, you and I have some common grounds regarding school days. Talking about the gajar halwa recipe, I am quite impressed at the usage of orange juice. It must be a great coming together of flavors. Will try it out, this time your way.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 10, 2023 at 7:56 pm

      Thank you so much Neha. Am so happy that you enjoyed my post.Give the gajar ka halwa with orange a try. It tastes really good. Just make sure that the orange juice is not sour.

  • Jayashree T Rao

    August 9, 2023 at 10:17 am

    5 stars
    I had made this recipe and it tasted good. Love the deep orangecolour of the halwa.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 10, 2023 at 7:54 pm

      Thank you so much Jayashree. I am so happy you enjoyed the gajar halwa with orange and saffron. The colours are from the carrot, saffron and orange.

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