My mother used to make large trays of delicious halva. She made halva with with lightly toasted wheat flour, butter, sugar and rosewater . In Iran, halva is usually made during religious holidays and funerals. I, on the other hand, think that making halva doesn't require any special occasion. It’s an easy to make tasty sweet. حلوا - Halva is a very rich and fulfilling dessert. You can make it in large quantities and freeze it for later use. It keeps well in the freezer.

Persian Halva


2 cups whole wheat flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter or vegetable oil
2  cups sugar
1  cup water
1/4 cup rosewater
1/4  teaspoon powdered saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water *optional


Slivered almonds
Chopped pistachios
Shredded coconuts


  1. Combine sugar and water in a medium size pot. Bring the water to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15  minutes over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the saffron and the rosewater. Set aside.
  3. Place a skillet over medium-low heat and lightly toast the flour for about 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the butter and stir continuously for about 15 minutes over low heat.
  5. Slowly pour the sugar syrup into the skillet while stirring until the syrup is fully absorbed. 
  6. Cook over low heat for another 7-10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  7. Transfer halva onto a serving platter. With the back of a spoon flatten halva and give it some shapes.
Garnish with slivered almonds, pistachios or shredded dried coconuts.



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  2. This is a childhood favourite and also how I can get fat very fast!

  3. Azita, this looks great! I love how you garnished it in the picture :)
    So I just want to make sure I'm not misunderstanding; in the first step, you boil only 1 cup of water and then you had the remaining 1/2 cup of water, in addition to the sugar mixture, to the flour in step 4, right?
    By the way, do most Iranians like halva? I'm thinking of making it for someone I know who is Iranian, and I'm hoping that they'll like it!

    1. I made the necessary changes in the recipe. Yes, most Iranians like halva. Thank you!

  4. Thank you so much! Also one last question; what kind of sugar do you yourself use? The sugar I use is an organic cane sugar and it's not as fine as granulated white sugar. Does it matter which one I use?

    1. I use granulated white sugar. You can use organic cane sugar. It doesn't matter which one you use.

  5. Salam Azita, I love your blog! I made halva and it turned out yellow and not brown. Can you please tell me what I could have done wrong? Thank you very much.

    1. Salam, thank you! For this recipe use whole-wheat flour and toast it lightly before adding the butter.

  6. Hey there... wondering, would it work ok if I use coconut sugar instead of cane sugar? And coconut flour? Will it have an ok texture / consistency? Merci and dastetoon dard nakone

    1. Yes, you can use coconut sugar instead of cane sugar and you can use coconut flour instead of wheat/all-purpose flour. The texture might be a little dry and dense.

  7. Salam Azita khanum!

    I have a question: do you have the recipe of kookoo e shirin? I can't fid it.

    1. Salam, here's my recipe for kookoo ghandi: