Last week we celebrated 'Universal food festival' in our St.Cecelia's church. Our parishioners had brought a wide variety of foods from their heritage. Though it was a food tasting festival, the enthusiastic participants have made it like a bountiful dinner. Our Indian team has brought fried rice, Samosa(Ms. Naina), chaat food, Shirkhand (Ms.Novella), Mango pie, rava ladoo and carrot halwa (me). Our parish Father had prepared a very delicious Philippines chicken rice soup (Arroz caldo) in a very LARGE cooker and we all enjoyed a hearty warm soup.This soup made every one crave for more servings and we got it too:) The flan and sweet rice cake from Philippines also caught my attention. I loved the eggplant parmigiana (Italy),eggroll, fried rolls, dumplings, pastas, stuffed cabbage (Poland), lasagna (there was more but I couldn't remember the names). Cream cheese knots (Italy) was one of the most sought among the other delicacies like Baklava (Armenia), Cup cake, Irish Soda bread and the endless cookies.I admire the efforts our coordinators took to make this event a great success. Our Indian team coordinators MS.Novella, Ms. Naina, other ladies and their families welcomed each and every one of us and made the evening very enjoyable. Ms. MaryJane did a phenomenol compering and cheered up the guests with her beautiful voice. Totally we had a very nice get-together and looking forward for making all the upcoming festivals more successful.
Here is the carrot halwa I had made for the party. Hubby dear helped me by doing the important part...shredding the carrot , even during his busy schedule. After that I started stirring this halwa by about 8.30 pm on Friday and I knew it would take more than 1 hour. I wanted to quicken the process with a rich tasting carrot halwa. So I formulated my own version and here is it for a large scale. I got the halwa ready in nearly 45 minutes and it tasted very good (our guests words)...thanks be to God.
Carrot - 3.5 lb
(shredded - 8 cup)
sugar - 3.5 cup
condensed milk - 1 tin (8 oz)
milk - 1/2 cup
butter - 1 cup (2 stick)
cardamom powder - 1.5 tbsp
cashew nut - 1 cup
raisin - 1/2 cup
almond slivers - 1/4 cup
bread slices - 3
corn starch - 1 tbsp
water - 2 tbsp
Wash and scrape the skin of carrot.Discard the ends.
Rinse again and grate the carrots in bigger teeth of the grater. Keep aside.
Melt the butter in a large wok in medium heat.
Fry the cashew nuts first and take it out.
Likewise fry the raisins till it puffs, take out and keep them aside.
In the same pan (in the remaining molten butter) add the shredded carrots and fry till raw smell vanishes.
Now add milk to it.
(I added 1/2 cup milk only as I wanted to make this halwa quickly, otherwise it could take more time and energy).
Wait till the milk is absorbed.
After that add sugar and let all the water in carrot gets evaporated.
Add condensed milk and stir continuously in medium heat.
In the meantime cut the bread slices and pulse them in mixer / blender to get fine pieces.
Add this to the halwa and mix well. After 5 minutes, mix corn starch with 2 tbsp water and add to the halwa (to get a glossy finish).
Stir well till it gets little thick and starts leaving the edges.
Now add the fried nuts, raisins and put off fire. Mix the cardamom powder.
Keep the carrot halwa in a serving tray and garnish with almond slivers.
Carrot Halwa is ready!
Serve hot or cold as dessert.
This takes less than 1 hour as we are adding thickening agents like bread crumbs and corn starch.
The above process is suitable for large parties as it won't require much stirring time.
Makes 50 small servings.