Persian Halvah

By Reyna Simnegar

Published March 15, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Persian halvah is not like the regular halvah you are used to. The word halvah refers to several dense and sweet desserts made with nuts or flour. In contrast to the more popular Israeli halvah made of sesame paste, in Iran, halvah is flour based with a hint of rose water. I actually think Persian halvah is much better! It has a soft, play-dough consistency that is very agreeable to the palate. The taste is heavenly and very exotic. Persian halvah is intertwined in many areas of the life of Persian Jews. Halvah is the food of choice after fasts and it is also one of the essential foods to be given away on Purim for mishloach manot. It is very easy to make and very easy to eat!

Courtesy of Feldheim Publishers

Tricks of the trade: It is important to mix the dough very well. If too many flour lumps remain, process in the pot with an immersion hand blender until a thick paste is achieved. To serve, flatten dough into a shallow platter and garnish with slivered pistachios and almonds. Since this dough is very pliable, my children enjoy helping me shape halvah with cookie cutters in a myriad of shapes and sizes. Look at the stars in the picture!

Syrup
1½ cups water
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon saffron
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
¼ cup rose water

Dough
2 cups flour
1 cup canola oil

Garnish
slivered pistachios and/or almonds

1) To make the syrup, bring water and sugar to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan. When sugar has dissolved, turn off the heat; add saffron, cardamom, and rose water. Stir and set aside. 2) In another 4-quart saucepan, toast flour over high heat for no more than 3 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to avoid burning. Watch carefully; as soon as the flour becomes light brown, reduce heat to medium and add oil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. 3) Add syrup and mix rapidly. Almost immediately bright yellow dough, similar to play dough, will form. 4) To serve, flatten dough into a shallow round platter and garnish with slivered pistachios and almonds, or cut into shapes and garnish.

Yield: 9 inch round halvah


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.