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TAR HALVA ترحلوا
Serves 4-6
Recipe type: Tar Halva/Dessert
Cuisine: Persian
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ tsp saffron powder
  • 2 TBSP rose water
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 ½ ounces unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • Optional Garnish:
  • Slivered or chopped pistachios
  • Dried rose petals
  1. First make the syrup: Mix sugar and water over medium heat only until the sugar dissolves and comes to a low boil. Add saffron and stir. Remove from the heat. Add the rosewater and stir to combine. Set aside so it cools to lukewarm. Do not boil the syrup.
  2. Now make the base: Add the flour to a nonstick 10-inch skillet and stir over medium heat with a wooden spoon for about 8-10 minutes, or until it becomes aromatic and smells nutty. The flour should not change color.
  3. Add cold butter cubes and ground cardamom to the skillet. Stir over medium heat until all the flour becomes moist and paste like. Keep stirring until all the butter is completely cut into the flour and the mixture is nice and paste like but not greasy looking.
  4. Add a small piece of the hot paste to the lukewarm syrup. If it sizzles the paste is hot enough to be mixed with the syrup.
  5. Now add all the syrup in the skillet over the hot paste. Keep stirring over medium heat with wooden spoon until well blended.
  6. Keep stirring until once again the mixture sticks together and forms a paste.
  7. Turn off the heat and keep stirring until the Tar Halva starts pulling away from the sides and bottom of the skillet.
  8. Add the Tar Halva to a bowl and cool at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  9. Transfer the Tar Halva to a shallow serving platter. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon, then use the tip of the spoon to make designs on top.
  10. Garnish with some slivered or chopped pistachios and dried rose petals.
  11. Enjoy the Tar Halva after lunch or dinner with a cup of tea.
Cardamom, rosewater, rice flour and saffron are sold in Middle Eastern markets.
To make ground cardamom: Grind the whole pods in a small food grinder until you get a soft powder. No need to remove the skin.
To make ground saffron: Grind saffron threads in a small food grinder until soft powder.
Recipe by Persian Mama at