I had posted my recipe for Gajar ka Halwa (Gajar is the Hindi word for Carrots) in this forum. I don't think it got much notice because for a lot of people it's too exotic.
I would not use Cream Cheese as a substitute in any Indian halwa I mean from an authenticity standpoint. If you want a recipe that is as close to being authentic without being complicated I would use what I have listed below.
Also the milk powder is normally to make Khoya (a rich buttery cheese) that has a texture similar to a rich ricotta just a whole lot drier. Indian sweets use khoya to give their sweets a buttery taste. If you want to make khoya use the following technique. Use 2 cups of whole milk ricotta, half a stick of unsalted butter and cook it down until there is hardly any liquid left. Add a cup of milk powder and stir it all to combine and reserve. Khoya to me is optional and I dont think it makes any difference to the end product other than perhaps adds a tad bit more richness.
Gajar Ka Halwa
6 cups of grated carrots
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
2 cups of heavy cream
1 stick of unsalted butter (this is not a low fat dish
1 tsp of freshly ground cardamom powder
2 big pinches of saffron
Assorted nuts (not salted or roasted) powdered or sliced (I don't like raisins in my version but you can add them if you like)
A bit more sugar to adjust sweetness
In a heavy bottom pot (non-stick preferred) add the carrots, condensed milk and heavy cream and cook it all down until the carrots are a mush. It takes time and patience and elbow grease (dont forget about it else it will be burnt). When the water from the carrots, milk and cream is almost gone add the butter, cardamom, saffron and half the nuts and saute the carrots in them until the color becomes almost a seinna (15 -20 minutes of constant stirring).
Remove in the bowl, top with the remaining nuts and serve at room temperature. A little goes a long way and it's truly delicious.
Now if you were to use Khoya (the recipe is listed above). You would add that to the halwa at the last minute with the butter and keep sauting the carrots this time with the butter, khoya, cardamom, saffron and nuts. The khoya gives the halwa a more buttery texture but I don't use it all the time.
All the best, try and let me know if it met your expectations.