Goddess of Cake


Rosie Halva
June 21, 2009, 16:28
Filed under: Sweets | Tags: , , , , ,

First, in order to avoid confusion, there are two types of halva: Indian halva, which is kind of a pudding made of semolina, and Arabian halva, which is a sweet made of sesame seeds. Indian halva is one of my all time favourites, when I’m cooking in a hurry for big crowds. It can quite easily be made for like a hundred people in a 10 liter pan. Besides, hippies love it! The idea of halva was presented to me by an ex – Krishna devotee when I was working in an ecovillage in Central Finland.

This particular recipe I invented last summer for a hippie – festival catering. For the hippies I shaped balls of the halva, since it was easy to serve like that, and hippies generally love to eat anything that is in a form of a ball (why that is so I cannot tell). Though, it can also be made a so that the consistency is a bit runnier and then served with a spoon. Rosewater can be obtained in Asian stores and at the chemist’s, but I have sometimes used a brand of organic rosewater (Julia Lawless Aqua Oleum), which was definetely the best, since it smells most like real roses.

Rose is an edible flower, and a very decorative one too! Though it’s good to remember to take out the white part of the petals, since it is bitter. I usually collect the petals of Japanese rose or rosa rugosa which grows very all over the place in Finland, and blooms from June to August.

rose halva

Halva with Rosewater and Strawberries

4 dl semolina

1,5 dl grated coconut

1 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp bourbon vanilla powder

3 dl brown sugar

2,5 dl oil (anything that doesn’t have a very distinguished taste, I used canola)

3 dl oat milk

2 tbsp rose water

250 g frozen strawberries

This halva is made in a cooking pan. I started by toasting the semolina on dry pan for about ten minutes, stirring it all the time, in order to avoid burning. When the semolina was very slightly yellow – brownish, I added the coconut, spices and sugar, stirred hastily and then quickly added the oil, milk and strawberries and the rose water. Then I turned down the heat and covered the pan with a lid, and let it simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes. I was using frozen strawberries, so I guess it would go faster, if you used fresh ones. I shaped the halva by pressing it to tiny bowl and then turning it over on a plate, kind of in the same way children make sandcakes. I decorated the halva with rose petals, grated coconut and freeze – dried strawberries. It could also be sprinkled with rose water, to enhance the taste and smell.

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2 Comments so far
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Those sound so yummy and interesting. I’ve never heard of Indian halva before, and I can’t resist anything with rosewater, so I’ll have to give them a try soon!

Comment by Angela

I actually forgot to mention that halva is also delightfully versatile. You can add any kind of nuts chopped up, or almonds, or raisins.. whatever happens to be in your cupbourd. I have often made it instead of strawberries with finely grated carrot. I suppose banana could be nice too, as well as many other fruits or berries. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom can be used to spice it. Have a go and invent your version 😉

Comment by goddessofcake




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