I always associated Persia with a mystical aura surrounding the country. I had read so much about the land in the many fiction I use to consume. It always fascinated and held me captive, talking about the land and the food and so many things. So when it was to choose P, I had to do Persia. Persia or Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1980, is a country in Western Asia.
I landed in this recipe and spent many a days simply looking at the pictures and spend quite sometime checking out other recipes. Infact I made something else from this space as well. For all the time I spent, I didn't get around reading this post, maybe somehow to do with the loss and the sadness that sort of clouded this post. The writer spins quite a tale and though I enjoyed reading her other posts, I couldn't get myself read this. Then I thought so what if Halwa is associated with funerals. Even then it's a wonderful recollection of the writer's experience.
In India Halwas are made on happy occasions. And given my penchant for Halwas, I had to make this.I have previously made Maida Halwa, quite in a different way. Seeing how it is made, I knew this must be relatively very simple to get done. Just as I said, it was so simple. I made this on the Saturday and the moment I went in, Konda was following me, wanting to know which country I was going to make. I told her that I can't avoid to deviate from the order and it has to be P for the day.
The morning I was making, I was baking a cake as well. So you can imagine the other company I had. The boys wouldn't budge from the space and I literally had to send them off. Just as I thought getting this Halwa done was a breeze. Only just as I was mixing it, I realized that I had missed out adding butter altogether. Off late I find myself going bonkers when I make too many dishes at the same time, clicking each picture and having the kids in the small kitchen.
Konda was going gaga over this, while boys were only peeping into the oven. Finally I managed to fix the missing butter and the halwa turned out so delicious. Even with all the fixing I had to do, this took just about 15 - 20 mins all together. This is one quick dessert fix I must say. It was so delicious that Konda skipped her breakfast for this, while all the time threatening her brothers to try this. Peddu ventured and he got hooked. He didn't know if he had to eat more cake or this in the end.
If you ever want to make a quick sweet, you must make this. The original recipe calls for 3 cups flour, though I made with just a cup of flour.
Country - P for Persia
Category - Dessert, Sweets,
Cooking time - 15 - 20 mins
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Unsalted Butter - 2 tbsp or more
Sugar - 3/4 cups
Rose water - 2 tbsp
a pinch saffron, ground
Water just enough to cover the sugar
Slivered almonds and pistachios for garnish
How to make the Persian Halvah
For the Syrup
In a Sauce pan, place the sugar and water, bring to boil. Strain if any impurities, then continue boiling for couple of more minutes, till you get a thick syrup but not a thread.
Remove from heat and add rose water and ground saffron. Set aside to cool down
To make the halwa
Melt butter in a non-stick pan, add flour.
Let the flour brown on low heat making sure that you constantly stir so that it won’t burn. This takes the major part as you will have to keep stirring constantly.
Since I was making the syrup on the side, I had to be really careful to make sure the flour doesn't get burnt.
After about 7 - 10 mins the flour turns colour, becomes a nice brown shade.
Once the flour is ready pour the syrup over it.
Remove from heat and combine the syrup and flour together. If it is too dry add 1/4 of cup of water to it. I add more ghee to it.
Transfer to a greased plate and decorate with nuts.
I forgot about adding butter at the initial stage. You can easily add melted ghee. Mine was more loose and couldn't form design as I saw in the original recipe.
The halwa is so soft and smooth. The nuts give a good bite in between.