My father and mother had 8 daughters, after the birth of the eighth daughter, my father married another woman in order to have a male son, but precisely then, my mother became pregnant and gave birth to a son. Since then, she has vowed to prepare halva herself and with her own money for anyone who needs it – a sweet dish and a kind of grandmother’s remedy (the knowledge of its preparation has been passed down from generation to generation) that is intended to strengthen the body and soul of a barren woman and help her to conceive, along with another medicine for internal use based on ground saffron, brown sugar which she produced from an ash tree, called gazagnebin, and almond oil. The women who ate from the halva and used the accompanying medicine believed in their power with their eyes closed and the success rate was perfect – they all got pregnant, maybe it was the strong belief? Maybe my mother’s kindness? And maybe the hand of God?
Ingredients for Persian Halva
- 12 cups water boiling
- 2½ cups Sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds ground
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed ground
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads ground
- 4 cups flour white
- 2½ cups oil
- a few drops rosewater
- a lot white almonds pistachios, and cashews
1. Pour 12 cups boiling water into a bowl, add the sugar and the spices, mix and set aside.
2. Toast flour (without oil) in a wide, tall pot, stirring constantly and over a medium-low flame until the flour turns golden and gives off a delicate toasted aroma.
3. When the flour is golden, add the oil to it at once and mix quickly and well. When a kind of dough is obtained, stop and pour in carefully, gradually and while constantly stirring the seasoned water. When a uniform mixture is obtained, remove from the heat and add rose water.
4. Cool slightly and arrange like a hill on a serving plate. Decorate with almonds and walnuts.