Special Dessert for Holi - Gajjar Halwa with Rabri Mousse and Shahi Tukda

A colourful weekend and Gajar Ka Halwa with Rabri Mousse and Shahi Tukda

Colour is my day-long obsession and torment ∼ Claude Monet

Holi colours

I love this time of the year. All the universal forces seem to collide together to align all the things that I love – festive colours of Holi, magical full moon, new energy and fresh vibration of spring (equinox and all those things) and a bit of celebration. Because… my birthday somehow manages to glide into it all every year! At work front too, we had a bit of a shuffle as FoodeMag dxb rebranded itself to FoodeMag ( here’s a small read) – a new logo and new direction to support our original vision.

I’m a sucker for celebrations and so we did celebrate. We have a small group of friends in Dubai, an extended family of sort since a long time. We celebrate all our personal milestones together – big or small, with home cooked meals and some cracking up moments. The Holi cum birthday get-together wasn’t any different. Our hostess Sumana, an amateur chef and a keen foodie, said that she kept the menu simple. Deemer devil, the Bengali version of scotch eggs, luchi (here’s my ode to luchi please) accompanied by ghugni, dried yellow peas cooked in gravy, comprised our late breakfast menu (say around 2 pm!). Lunch was traditional – steaming white rice, shukto, dhokar dalna, kasha mangsho and the exotic daab chingri, a subtly flavoured mustard prawn cooked inside tender Thai coconuts. Sumana created an epic dessert fusion, a combination of three traditional festive sweets – Gajar ka Halwa with Rabri Mousse and Shahi Tukda. It not only looked spectacular but tasted divine. Long after I reached home, as I was going through the photos of the afternoon madness and the delicious sit-down, I knew that I had to share the recipe in my blog. I mean, immediately! So, here is Sumana’s tried and tested recipe that she kindly gave a structure to, over whatsapp (you know how we home cooks cook mostly – all ingredients go as per andaj, personal judgement) – even after such a long tiring day.



Special Dessert for Holi - Gajjar Halwa with Rabri Mousse and Shahi Tukda


Indian sweets and Holi colours

Gajar Ka Halwa with Rabri Mousse and Shahi Tukda

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Category – Dessert; Cuisine type – Indian 

Special Dessert for Holi - Gajjar Halwa with Rabri Mousse and Shahi Tukda


Gajar ka Halwa
4 tender carrots, grated
full cream milk, enough to cover the grated carrots
200 gms mawa (thickened unsweetened milk)*
3-4 tsp milk powder (S used Nido)
1 small cup sugar
4 cardamoms, crushed into powder
1 tbsp pistachios, chopped
4 tsp ghee (S used Aseel)

Rabri Mousse
1 lt full fat milk
250 gms mawa
400 gms mascarpone cheese (S used Lat Bri)
150 gms or 4 tsp heavy cream
200 gms sweetened milk
sugar (as per taste)
4 cardamoms, crushed into powder
pinch of saffron
1 small packet of unflavoured gelatine, mixed in 4tsp warm water

Shahi Tukda
4 pieces white bread, sides removed and diagonally cut into half
4 tsp ghee
1/2 cup sugar syrup


Gajar ka Halwa

  • In a thick bottomed pan, cook the grated carrots in milk on high flame
  • Reduce flame once the milk starts to boil and slow cook while stirring constantly (the reduced milk tends to get burnt very easily)
  • Once the carrots are cooked nicely and the milk is reduced sufficiently, add mawa and milk powder. Mix the mawa finely and add sugar, cardamom powder, chopped pistachios and ghee. Let it simmer for 5 more minutes
  • Spread the carrot halwa on a flat dish and let it cool

Rabri Mousse

  • Mix the mawa, sweetened milk, sugar in milk and boil on slow heat until the milk thickens and reduces to half
  • Add saffron and cardamom powder
  • Remove the rabri from heat and let it cool
  • Whisk mascarpone cheese, heavy cream and the gelatine mixture
  • Once the mousse is ready, pour it immediately on halwa like a cheesecake
  • Let it set

Shahi Tukda

  • Fry the triangular bread pieces
  • Soak the fried bread pieces in simple sugar syrup (you can boil sugar in water -in the ratio of 1 part water to 1 part sugar)
  • Place them as decorative pieces on top of the rabri mousse

*Mawa or Khoya is easily available in many Indian sweet shops in Dubai – for example, Puranmal sells mawa at Dhs 63/kg. It’s also available in Lulu supermarket. I have an exclusive dekchi, a flat-bottomed cooking pot for making any dessert that uses milk as an ingredient. Milk is such a delicate ingredient that it tends to absorb even the slightest smell of spices from the pot.



Bubbly in a coloured hand








Sumana Haldar, an amateur chef


BTW, all my friends are great cooks. In fact, some of my girlfriends are dessert specialists of the highest order. From traditional, fusion, new creations – they conjure up sheer fantasies all the time. They did the same that day too. For example, Lipi’s traditional Malpoa and Rupa’s Monomohini – the melt in the mouth kanchagolla with a filling of nolen gur and narkel, season fresh date jaggery and coconut. These were lapped up during breakfast itself as we immersed in the colour madness. Another friend Tito, recreated the traditional almond drink Thandai, a Holi speciality, following Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe. Finally, a traditional payesh made by Sumana and Lady M’s homemade chocolate moist cake signed off my formal birthday ceremony. It was an afternoon filled in an insane colour riot – enjoy the colour blast below!

People with Holi colours on their faces


People with Holi colours on their faces


People with Holi colours on their faces


Malpua - a traditional Bengali sweet


People with Holi colours on their faces




Holi wasn’t the only reason for my colour riot over this weekend. I had a VIP invite from Bupa Global for the prestigious Art Dubai which took place in Madinat Jumeirah. This was the 13th edition of the international art fair in which more than 90 galleries from over 40 countries all across the world showcased their artists. I witnessed the works of some of my favourite Indian stalwarts like M.F. Hussein, Paresh Maity, Ganesh Pyne, Anjolie Ela Menon, Subhash Haloi, Francis Newton Souza and many others. On that same night, we booked into another spectacular event, as a family. A full moon drumming session in the desert with Dubai Drums. Although the moon was shy and refused to come out for most of the time we were there, drumming together in a group of more than 100 people, is one of the most liberating things that I had done. It was a brilliant foreword to the colourful birthday celebrations that I was headed for with my friends the next day. My inner child is absolutely thrilled and I feel really blessed to be surrounded by so much love, sweetness and colours!

Unblogging it all… Ishita

PS: My friend Sumana Haldar is the Managing Partner of http://www.etutorhome.com and http://www.ngeinitiative.com – two interactive educational platforms. What tickles my fancy (and inspires me) is that this friend of mine took her passion for cooking to the next highest level by doing an Amateur Chef course recently from International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) in Knowledge Village. There’s no age to start learning something you want. Just go ahead and book into that course that you have always wanted to do!

Disclaimer: This isn’t a sponsored post, nor are there any affiliated links for any of the brands that have been mentioned in my blogpost. The subject, story, opinions and views stated here are my own and all images are from my personal album. While you enjoy reading my posts with lot of visuals, please do not use any material from these posts. Thank you for joining me on my daily food and travel journey oInstagramFacebookTwitter and Pinterest!

Try these dessert recipes from my blog:
Gajorer Payesh or Carrot Pudding
Moong Daaler Payesh or Yellow Lentil Pudding
Bhapa Mishti Doi
Gulab Jamum Rabri

Other reads:
Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe for Thandai
How to make Thandai | Sanjeev Kappor
Celebrate Holi with colourful recipes across the world |FoodeMag
Holi in Nandgaon, Mathura and Vrindavan |FoodeMag
 Holi | Wiki
Braj | Wiki
Art Dubai 


Did you enjoy reading the post? Do leave some love!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: