Persian Halva has always been one of my favorite desserts.
A popular dish often served at funerals to lighten the moods of those grieving loved ones or reserved to help postpartum women replenish after giving birth, it’s quite odd that this became such a cornerstone in my childhood (as I assure you, I wasn’t around many new moms and definitely didn’t go to any funerals — I probably had it once and kept requesting it on repeat).
When I had my own son, my mother started making the dish again, serving up many amazing childhood memories — all filled with rose water, saffron, and honey, I might add. (People sometimes top it off with pistachios, but I like mine more simple.)
This year the recipe holds an extra amount of love in that many people in my country of heritage won’t be able to celebrate Persian New Year because of the worldwide pandemic we are facing right now.
I am hoping to share this six-step recipe to help sweeten up this trying time and bring people feelings of strength, courage, love, and, of course, a lifetime of great memories with your family.
PERSIAN HALVA INGREDIENTS
6 tablespoons raw grass fed butter
2 cups water
¾ cup honey
1 cup sprouted wheat flour
¼ cup rose water
1 teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon ground saffron
PERSIAN HALVA ASSEMBLY
1 | Toast the flour over the pan and consistently stir until it browns (but not burns).
2 | Once browned, add the butter to the flour and continue stirring to let it brown a bit longer.
3 | In another saucepan, while the flour is being toasted, combine the water, rose water, honey, cardamom, and saffron to bring to a boil.
4 | Turn off the heat under the flour, and add the water-based mixture to the flour mixture while continuing to stir. Keep stirring until it reaches a thick consistency.
5 | Let it cool and place onto a serving dish. You can create the traditional Persian design immediately after placing it in the dish — we used the back of a spoon!
6 | Cool it completely in the fridge or serve it warm. Enjoy, and happy Persian New Years!
Nikki Bostwick is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the fullest, the host of the fullest podcast, and the creator of the Saffron Latte (which is another great addition to any Persian New Year festivity at home).