Halwa is one of the most famous Iranian desserts, which you can see it being served in most occasions, specially the religious ones. In addition to different religious events, this dessert has a special place in Iranian memorial services. This dessert is so popular among Iranians and almost each city of Iran has their own special kind of halwa! And in some of these cities, people sell it as their souvenir! In this article we will introduce different kinds of halwa which are popular in Iran. So if you are curious, keep reading!
Halwa is dessert cooked out of wheat flour. Wheat has long been associated with rituals of mourning and the victory of the soul over death. In Mesopotamian and Zoroastrian mourning rituals, one of the things they offered to the dead was bread. Bread made from wheat. The presence of oil in the cooking of halwa, while connecting the two worlds of plants and animals, also indicates cosmic unity.
Halwa is not only popular among Iranians, you can also find it loved and served in Horn Africa, South Africa, South and Central Asia, Balkans and Caucasus. Depending on the type of raw materials used and the geographical location of baking, halwa can have different flavors and shapes. Considering these exclusives and the influence of local dialects people name different types of halwa. Famous types of this dessert include tarhalwa, sugar halwa, carrot halwa, walnut halwa, lozenge halwa, two color halwa and etc.
Except all kinds of special halwas you can find in Iran, there is saffron halwa which I call it the basic! That’s because you can find it in all cities of Iran and is the most popular. It is so easy to cook and also you can find it’s ingredients in all kinds of halwa; the thing that make them special is the ingredients they have more or less than the basic.
The lozenge halwa is a famous souvenir of Hamadan city. The serve it in a lozenge shape and it is so popular that people serving it on different occasions. To cook this halwa you’ll need Rice flour, walnut kernels, wheat bran and saffron. It’s good to know that this dessert has a high nutritional value due to the use of wheat bran and walnut kernels in it.
Qara (black in Turkish language) or black halwa is a very famous souvenir in Ardabil city. As you guessed, the color of this dessert, like it’s name, is black. The black color is because of the use of grape syrup in it, which also gives a very special taste to it too. For more than a hundred years, the people of Ardabil have been making this dessert with wheat germ. In addition to wheat germ, they also use sesame, walnut, grape syrup and butter in it.
There is a famous halwa in Hamadan city, which is also very nutritious, called yolk halwa. It has a different and unique taste; and also very similar to porridge, but with a firmer texture. The ingredients of this dessert are: egg yolk, sugar, saffron, rose water and starch.
Yolk halwa is a rich source of protein due to the use of egg yolk in it; and due to this fact Iranians recommend to children and mothers who are breastfeeding a lot. It is also effective in compensating for lost energy during high activity. You can find this delicious sweet in the recreational and historical places of Hamadan.
If you are a fan of ginger taste, we suggest you to taste this dessert. As it’s name suggest it has a significant amount of ginger in it; and they cook it in many cities in East Azarbaijan and Ardabil provinces. Other ingredients of this dessert include powdered sugar, walnuts, cardamom and flour. One of the most important steps in preparing it, is sieving it before molding so that the texture does not become lumpy. Contrary to popular belief, the ginger halwa has a pasty texture and is very crunchy.
This dessert is a type of halwa in which you use rice flour instead of wheat flour. People usually prepare Tarhalwa with sugar, rose water, saffron, rice flour and ground cardamom; and at the end you can garnish it with cinnamon.
Shirazi Tarhalwa is one of the famous types of Tarhlva. Carrot tarhalwa is also one of the types this dessert, which is one of the traditional dishes of Hamedan province. People mostly prepare carrot tarhalwa for Iftar during Ramadan.
“Aq” in Turkish means white; and in Ardabil they also call the white halwa, Aq. Many consider the origin of this dessert the city of Khalkhal, one of the functions of Ardabil province. They mostly cook it on religious occasions such as Eid al-Fitr or to congratulate young couples on their marriage. Even families prepare it near Eid al-Fitr to give it to each other as a gift to strengthen kinship ties!
Rice flour is the main ingredient of this halwa. After preparing the raw material, they add ginger, rose water or vanilla; and also use saffron to draw or write on the surface of the dessert as a decoration.
Which one was your favorite? Have you ever tasted or cooked any of them? Let us know by commenting about them, and if you wanted to cook any of the Iranian halwas and were looking for the recipe, we are here to help!