January 12, 2009

Halva



My mother used to make large trays of delicious halva. حلوا - Halva is made with wheat flour, butter, sugar and rosewater. In Iran, halva is usually made during religious holidays and served after the funeral services. I, on the other hand, think that you don't need a special occasion to make halva. Halva is a very rich and fulfilling dessert. You can make it ahead and freeze the leftovers for later. It keeps well in the freezer.

Persian Halva

Ingredients:

For The Syrup

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup rosewater
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4  teaspoon powdered saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water

For The Halva

2 cups whole wheat flour, sifted
1 cup vegetable oil or unsalted butter 

Garnish:

Slivered almonds
Chopped pistachios
Shredded coconuts

Method:
  1. Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, add the cardamom, saffron and the rosewater. Remove from the heat, set aside.
  2. Place a heavy-bottom pan over medium-low heat and lightly toast the flour for 8-10 minutes, until you smell the aroma. Stirring frequently.
  3. Add the oil and stir continuously for about 10-12 minutes over low heat.
  4. While stirring, gradually pour the sugar syrup into the pan, until it is fully absorbed and the halva has thickened. 
  5. Remove from the heat and transfer the halva onto a serving platter. With the back of a spoon flatten the halva and garnish with the desired toppings.

Enjoy!

16 comments:

  1. I was wondering if you would ever be interested in becoming a featured publisher with Foodbuzz.com? If so please conctact me at lizstambaugh@yahoo.com

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

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  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!

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

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  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?

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

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  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.

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

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  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

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    Replies
    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.

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  7. Salam Azita khanum!

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

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    Replies
    1. Salam, here's my recipe for kookoo ghandi:
      http://turmericsaffron.blogspot.com/2010/01/sweet-saffron-potato-patties-kookoo.html

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  8. Salaam Azita, hal-e shoma chetore? You're recipe for halva was extremely useful as I wanted to replicate my mother's recipe. Do you know the recipe for koofteh berenji? Thank you for your help and khoda hafez!

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    Replies
    1. Salam, here's the link to my koofteh berenji recipe:
      https://turmericsaffron.blogspot.com/2011/06/persian-koofteh-berenji-rice-kufta.html

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  9. Dear Azita, can one leave out the ground cardamom or is it essential? It's a difficult ingredient to get a hold of in Germany! :-)

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