Carrot Halwa Steel Cut Oatmeal

I sometimes receive requests from readers for a particular recipe. Many times, they are ideas that I have already considered but just haven’t figured out how to make yet. Sometimes, they are recipes that I immediately set off to create and appear on the blog within days. And then there are ideas like this one, for which I only have one response: “I don’t know what that is and have no idea how I would make it.”


Considering I’ve only eaten Indian food four times in my life, my knowledge of Indian cuisine is minimal. I have never eaten “Indian dessert” and have absolutely zero concept of what it’s like or what it should taste like. Thus, when a reader begged me to create a halwa recipe, I had to reject her, claiming that I had no idea what it was or what it should taste like.

To make matters worse, I could not go out and buy halwa, for it’s traditionally made with ghee (clarified butter), which is most definitely not vegan. The reader (whose messages I cannot find now, so I cannot give her the credit she deserves…) persisted and said it wouldn’t be that hard, but I was so intimidated that I continued to refuse.


That was nearly a year ago, and recently I decided to just take the plunge. Disclaimer: I’ve never had halwa before and I have no idea if this tastes like it. However, I used this vegan halwa recipe from Healthy Girl’s Kitchen as inspiration, and I can confidently claim that this oatmeal is delicious. Readers, I need you to confirm for me if this recipe tastes “authentic.” Try it out and let me know in the comments!

Carrot Halwa Steel Cut Oatmeal

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: serves 4

What you'll need:

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 cups milk of choice
  • 2 cups water (or more milk)
  • 4 dates, sliced
  • 1 cup steel cut oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • pinch of salt

How to make it:

  1. Soak cashews in a small bowl of water for at least ten minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse and peel your carrot. Slice into 1-inch chunks and add to food processor.
  3. When cashews are ready, drain and add to the food processor with the carrots. Pulse a few times until the cashews and carrots have mixed and are in gravel-sized bits. With my Ninja, this took mere seconds! Your processor may require more pulsing.
  4. Add milk and water to a saucepan over medium high heat.
  5. While waiting for liquid to boil, prepare your dates. Slice into tiny pieces and add to saucepan.
  6. Once liquid comes to a low boil, add oats and carrot mixture, and reduce heat to medium or medium low. (If you'd like to add a teaspoon of flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
  7. Stir occasionally and let the oatmeal cook for about fifteen minutes.
  8. Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add cardamom and salt. Continue stirring occasionally.
  9. When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal (it should be on the dryer/thicker side), transfer to a bowl. Add a splash of your milk of choice and any other additional toppings (such as more cashews, etc.). You can also do what I did for the pictures and serve it in the traditional halwa format: pack the oatmeal into a ramekin, let it sit and firm up, and then empty upside-down onto a plate.


About Lauren Smith

Lauren is a herbivore, Slytherin, and connoisseur of oats. She is a former teacher who is currently studying to earn a master's degree in curriculum development. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

7 Responses to Carrot Halwa Steel Cut Oatmeal

  1. June says:

    What a great idea! I love carrot halwa, but I never thought of turning it into oatmeal. 😀 I’ll have to try this ASAP!

  2. Christine says:

    I have lots of recipe ideas that I haven’t experimented with yet. Some of them might be more difficult than others. I mentioned some of them elsewhere on your blog, but here are a few others: pancake oatmeal, rum & Coke oatmeal, candy corn oatmeal, sugar cookie dough oatmeal, Pop Tarts oatmeal, and (for adults only) a red wine and dark chocolate oatmeal.

    I love trying your recipes, but maybe I should start developing some of my own too!

    • Lauren Smith says:

      Most of these are nearly impossible to do without compromising my commitment to minimally processed ingredients. :/ But as for pancake oatmeal, I’ve seen a few people try it!

      • Christine says:

        I adapted a recipe for pancake oatmeal that I found on Mr. Breakfast. The oatmeal tastes vaguely like banana pancakes. It’s delicious, but I was wondering if you had something more authentic. As for the other recipe ideas, I’ve been contemplating how to make them with minimally-processed ingredients. I’m closest to developing the candy corn oatmeal and the Pop Tarts oatmeal. If I ever perfect the recipes, I will definitely share them with you!

  3. Christine says:

    Here’s the link to the recipe for Pancake Oatmeal that I found on Mr. Breakfast.

    My adaptations were to add a dash of salt, use 1 cup water for liquid (instead of milk), and drizzle honey on top (instead of measuring 1 tablespoon). I made this recipe over and over. I alternated between it and your Basic Banana Oatmeal for the better part of a year.

  4. Gisele says:

    I’ve made this oatmeal twice already, (it was quite good!) and I’d like to offer a few suggestions on how to make it taste a little bit more like halwa. I very very HIGHLY recommend sautéing the carrots and cashews in a little bit of ghee (a good brand is Pure Indian Foods.) You only need 1/2-1 tsp to get a really good flavor, and since ghee doesn’t have milk proteins, you can use it even if you have dairy problems. Something else you can add would be a few strands of saffron at the end, and sweeten it with jaggery/panela (it’s pretty much a small block of brown sugar) This was a really interesting oatmeal to try!

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