Persian Halva


Halva is a favorite dessert throughout the Middle East. Many varieties are made with tahini or semolina flour. This Persian halva recipe uses a simple mixture of flour, butter, and sugar with the sweet perfume of rosewater. Cut into wedges and serve with tea or coffee.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins


  • 1 cup white sugar

  • ½ cup water

  • ¼ cup rose water

  • 3 saffron threads

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour


  1. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan; cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.

  2. Stir rosewater and saffron into the sugar mixture; cover the saucepan and remove from the heat.

  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat; stir flour into melted butter until mixture is a smooth paste. Continue to cook, stirring often, until paste turns golden, 5 to 10 more minutes.

  4. Slowly whisk sugar mixture into paste until smooth. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

  5. Spread halva evenly onto a plate or platter. Make a pattern on the top of halva using the back of a spoon or a knife. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour.

Cook's Notes:

Substitute 1 cup of flavorless vegetable oil for the butter to make a cholesterol-free sweet. Decorate the top of the halva with whole pistachios or almonds or simply sprinkle with chopped nuts. Rosewater is available at most Middle Eastern grocery stores and at many health-food stores.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

386 Calories
23g Fat
43g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 386
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 15g 73%
Cholesterol 61mg 20%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 3g
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 33mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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