Halva is a sweet dish made with flour that is cooked all over the middle east. Many people believe that this is an Islamic food since in most Muslim countries they prepare it. There are plenty of Halvas available in different countries. Among all of them, Persian Halva is the most delicious one. In Iran, they mostly cook it in Ramadan and funerals.
Moreover, they serve it at ritual ceremonies. Although it is a sweet dish, it has no place in wedding ceremonies or any other happy celebrations in Iran. Ancient Iranians believed that wheat could defend the dead against negative energies. They used to cook bread out of wheat and present it to the spirits of dead people. They also believed that fat (oil) is the ingredient that can gather all the astrological energies together. That is the reason that they decided to cook such a portion of food by flour and oil for their dead relatives. As time passed, Halva evaluated, and nowadays it has an entirely different taste and appearance than the ancient one. We can claim that there is a type of Halva for each province in Iran.
Diffrent types of Persian Halva:
There are many different types of food available in Iran. Tar Halva, saffron Halva is the most known type. The saffron type has saffron as the main ingredient after flour, vegetable oil, and sugar. There is also a ginger type that is served in Ramadan mostly. This one has flour, sugar, vegetable oil, and ginger as the ingredients. The essential ingredients that make a notable difference in the taste of new type and the mentioned ancient type are rosewater and some spices as cardamom. Rosewater and cardamom are the fixed ingredients in any Persian Halva Recipe. Other ingredients vary according to the kind of Halva.
Important Nutrition Facts of Persian Halva:
Halva has a notable high amount of calories. It has about 305 kcal per 100gr. Since it is made out of flour mainly, it is an excellent source for carbohydrates. It contains 46gr carbohydrates per 100gr. It has 12gr fat in each 100gr and 6gr protein. Moreover, it contains many vitamins, especially vitamin B3, with 1.10 mg. It has 117.53 mg sodium, 4.41 mg calcium, and about 37 mg potassium. It also has some other essential minerals. If you have high blood pressure, or you have got diabetes, or you have high cholesterol, you’d better not mind eating this dish.
Persian Halva is an utterly Vegan dish. If you are a vegetarian or even a vegan, you can cook and eat it confidently. It has all vegetarian ingredients. The only component that you might adjust while cooking is butter. You should use vegetarian butter.
Serving style of Persian Halva:
Iranians serve Halva in their ritual or funeral ceremonies. Mostly it is served as a snack during the funeral or a ritual service. To serve it you can either serve it in single bakery parches or inside special bread that tastes like cone ice cream’s cone. Sometimes they just flatten it into a plate, and everybody just gets the amount he or she wants on her plate. In Tehran, it is usually a self-serving section that they serve the Persian Halva along with Coffee and Tea, and some other snacks such as fruit. In other regions, they serve it to the guests when they are exiting the funeral. It may also be served as a dessert after a funeral’s dinner.
What are the ingredients of Persian Halva?
The primary ingredient is flour. The wheat flour is the component that Iranian chefs use for almost every Halva. Sometimes they use other flours such as rice flour. The other main ingredients are sugar and fat. Mostly, they use butter, but sometimes it is vegetable oil, and sometimes it is a mixture of butter and vegetable oil. They do not add sugar directly. It is either the ground sugar, grounded in a spice or coffee grinder, or a syrup made by melting sugar in some water.
How to cook Persian Halva?
To cook Persian Halva, you should pout the flour into a pan and batter it while it’s heating. Saute the flour until its color starts to change. You should batter it while sauteing because otherwise, it can quickly burn. You can find out when you are done sauteing when the color and scent changes. Then you turn off the heat and let the butter melt inside the warm flour. If you are using vegetable oil, you should add it at this point. For sugar, you add some water to sugar and heat it until the sugar melts and makes a sweet syrup.
The thickness of this syrup is critical. A very thick syrup can cause in a very hard Halva. Add other ingredients such as rosewater and ground spices like cardamom. Mix the ingredients well, and at last, you add an adequate amount of liquid saffron. Mix them until the Color of Halva changes to a good orange.
The preparation time is 30 minutes, and the cooking time is 1 hour. The serving amount depends on the type of serving.
- 1 cup flour (wheat flour)
- ½ cup vegetable oil or melted butter
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup of rosewater
- 3 tablespoon liquid saffron
- ½ tablespoon cardamom ground
- ⅓ cup sliced pistachio
- Pout the flour into a pan and saute it until its colours change a little bit. (the white colour will change to cream)
- Add oil and saute for some more minutes.
- Mix water and sugar and batter them on medium heat until the sugar disappears.
- Add saffron to the mixture of sugar and water.
- Add rosewater to the syrup.
- Add cardamom ground to the flour.
- Add syrup to the flour and mix them until you get the soft but not juicy texture.
- Serve it in any way you like. You can form it with bakery shapes, or just flatten it in a tray.
- Place pistachio slices to decorate your Halva.