Many countries and regions, including India, Persia, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean, make halva, but historians believe its origins are to be found in the middle East. The name halva derives from the Arabic word “halawe”, meaning “confection”.
the first halva is believed to have been made from dates and milk in the seventh century, but later came to refer to toasted flour mixed with honey or date syrop.
- ghee or unsalted butter 60g
- rice flour 90g
- milk 375ml
- sugar 55g
- rosewater 3 teaspoons
- ground cardamom 1/4-1/2 teaspoon
- pistachio nuts, blanched and chopped or 40g
- Melt the ghee or butter in a heavy-based saucepan, preferably one with a non-stick coating. Stir in the rice flour and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 3 minutes, without allowing the ground rice to colour.
- Add the milk, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened and is bubbling. Stir in the sugar, rosewater and cardamom to taste. Stir for a further 5 minutes.
- Pour into small bowls, sprinkle with the nuts and serve warm or at room temperature. Alternatively, pour into a lightly buttered 20 cm square cake tin, sprinkle with the nuts, leave until cold and serve cut into squares.