What is a halvah ceremony

Halva - Halva

Confectionery, which is often made from nut butter or flour

Halva (also Halvah , Halva and other spellings) refers to various local confectionery recipes in and around West Asia. The name refers to a wide variety of confectionery products, with the geographically most common variety being based on toasted semolina.

Halva is also popular in Central and South Asia, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Malta, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. Halva can be stored at room temperature outside the summer months without the risk of spoilage.


The word halva came from Romanian Yiddish into English between 1840 and 1850: חלווה, romanized: halva , which comes from Ottoman Turkish: حلوى, romanized: helva , itself ultimately derived from Arabic: حلوى, romanized: ḥalwá , a sweet confection. The root in Arabic: ح ل و, romanized: ḥ-lw , means "cute".


Halva is originally from Persia. A note on the Halva appeared in the 7th century and referred to a mixture of date puree and milk. By the 9th century, the term was applied to numerous types of candy, including the sweetened cooked semolina or flour paste known today.

Many of the earlier Persian recipes were in the Arabic book Kitab al-Tabikh ( The Book of Courts ) from the 13th century and in an anonymous cookbook from Moorish Spain in the 13th century. Halva was adopted and expanded, including a sesame-based version, by the Ottoman Turks and spread throughout their empire.


Most types of halva are relatively dense confectionery products that are sweetened with sugar or honey. However, their textures vary. For example, semolina-based halva is gelatinous and translucent, while sesame-based halva is drier and crumbly.

Grain-based halva

Turkish un helvası , a flour-based halva

Grain-based halva is made by roasting flour or cornstarch in oil, mixing it in a roux, and then boiling it with a sugary syrup. Corn is rarely used, semolina is more common in India Called Sooji Dhokla and in Turkey Irmik Halva . It is made by toasting semolina in fat, either oil or butter, and then adding sweetened milk or sugar syrup to achieve the preferred consistency. Rice flour and coconut milk halva are common on the streets of Zanzibar. Milk-based rice flour halva, known as Pathein Halawa, is considered a Burmese delicacy native to Pathein.

Often raisins, dates, other dried fruits or nuts like almonds or walnuts are added. The halva is very sweet with a gelatinous texture similar to polenta; The added butter gives it a rich mouthfeel.

This way of preparing halva can replace the grain with vegetables, fruits or cheese. Alternative vegetable-based halva recipes popular in India and Pakistan use beetroot, potatoes, yams, and most commonly carrots (for Gajar Halwa ), Mung beans (for Moong Dal Halwa ) or bottle gourds (for Doodi Halwa ) instead of semolina. Made with condensed milk and ghee, with no semolina to bind it together, the end result has a moist but flaky texture when made fresh. Other examples are the famous Agra Petha, which is easily available at the Taj Mahal in Agra.


Sesame halva is popular in the Balkans, Poland, the Middle East, and other areas around the Mediterranean. The main ingredients in this confectionery are sesame butter or paste (tahini) as well as sugar, glucose or honey. Soapwort (called 'Erq al halaweh in Arabic; Coven in Turkish), egg white, or marshmallow root is added in some recipes to stabilize the oils in the mixture or to create a special texture for the resulting confection. Other ingredients and flavors such as pistachios, cocoa powder, orange juice, vanilla or chocolate are often added to the base of tahini and sugar.


Sunflower halva is popular in the countries of the former Soviet Union, but also in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and other Balkan countries. It's made from toasted ground sunflower seeds instead of sesame seeds. It can contain other ingredients such as nuts, cocoa powder, or vanilla. In 1996, Ukraine produced around 4-5 thousand tons of sunflower halva annually.


Floss halva

Pişmaniye (Turkish) or Dental floss halva is a traditional candy made in Kocaeli, Turkey by making thin halva strands into a light confection. The strands, made mainly of wheat flour and sugar, are continuously wound into a spherical shape and then compressed. The result is a halva with a light consistency, similar to cotton candy. Floss Halva is available in regular and pistachio flavors, and there are brands with Halal or Kosher certification.

A similar pistachio-based version of floss halva is popular in northern India. It tends to be a bit denser and is often called Patisa or Sohan Papdi called . In Chinese cuisine there is one raft-like Candy that Pismaniye or Pashmak is similar to halva and as Dragon whiskers is known to be eaten as a snack or dessert.

A raw version of halva has also become popular with proponents of raw food diets. In this version, a mixture of raw sesame tahini, raw almonds, raw agave nectar and salt is mixed together and frozen.

Cultural use

Halva can be a snack or served as part of a meal.


A regional variant comes from Sheki, where Şəki halvası halva refers to a layered Bakhlava-style pastry, which is filled with a mixture of spices and nuts and topped with crossed patterns of a red syrup made from saffron, dried carrots and beetroot.


Halva is a traditional fast among the Greek Orthodox people who traditionally have food restrictions, particularly those due to meat, on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout Lent and other fasting periods.


Several different Indian halva, including Sooji Halva (Diamond shapes), Chana Halva (light circles) and Gajar Halva (dark circles)
Sooji halwa made from semolina or sooji

There are many types of halva in India, some of which are unique to certain regions of the country. It is one of India's most popular sweets, usually made from semolina.

It is speculated that halva (or halwa) is associated with Muslims in India, but written records of sweets from Mānasollāsa indicate that semolina halvas, the most popular form of halvas in India, were already known in India, for example it mentions one Called candy Shali-Anna , a candy Semolina base, which is known today in South India as Kesari.

Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu is known for its wheat halwa. Its preparation is a laborious process that "slowly sees this candy go away". Unlike other sweets, the extra ghee is not drained, but forms an outer layer. This increases the shelf life of the halwa. The unique taste of the Halwa is attributed to the perennial Thamirabranai.

The history of Kozhikode Halwa in Kerala could date back to the Zamorin era. Zamorin invited chefs from Gujarat to prepare halvah for their royal feast. They were also given overnight accommodation in addition to the royal kitchen. This settlement later developed as Sweet Sellers Street, now known as SM (Sweet Meat) Street or Mittayitheruvu. Kozhikode halwa is made from pure coconut oil, not ghee. A significant Arab and Middle Eastern influence in Kerala contributed to the fact that the karutha haluwa (black haluwa) made from rice is very popular. Kozhikode halwa also builds religious harmony, Ayyappa followers from the neighboring states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh buy halwa and chips such as prasadam (holy food). They distribute them among their neighbors and friends, who consume them with religious zeal.


In Iran , Halva (Persian: “حلوا”) usually refers to a similar confectionery made from wheat flour and butter and flavored with rose water. The final product is dark brown in color. The halva is spread thinly on a plate until it dries into a paste. Halva is usually served at funerals and other celebratory ceremonies, often with almonds or coconut shavings on top.

Halva Ardeh is the Iranian name for tahini-based halva and may or may not include whole pistachios. Ardeh Sesame is processed in the form of a paste, which is usually sweetened with syrup.


Tahini halvah (Hebrew: חלווה) is very popular in Israel and among Jews throughout the diaspora. Written in English "halvah", it is usually supplied in platters, almost cylindrical cakes (pictured), or small packs, and comes in a wide variety of flavors, with chocolate and vanilla being very common. The halva is almost always parve. The Israeli halwa usually does not contain wheat flour or semolina, but rather sesame, tahini, glucose, sugar, vanilla and Saponaria officinalis root extracts (soapwort), which are not normally found in other recipes. It is often served as a breakfast component in Israeli hotels, although it is usually not part of an Israeli breakfast, and it is even used in ice cream specialties.

United States

Halva is available at ethnic Indian, Jewish, Arabic, Persian, Greek, and Turkish community stores and delis. In some areas it is increasingly being offered by upscale restaurants. In addition to being imported, it is made in the USA. The biggest producer is Joyva from Brooklyn.

Cultural references

In Turkey, halva is served on special occasions such as births, circumcisions, weddings, and religious gatherings. It is tradition that semolina halva is served at funerals, when someone leaves or returns from the Hajj, and during Lent.

Because of this, flour ( U.N ) halva also in Turkish called Ölü helvası , What " halva of the dead "means. The term, who roast someone's halva, suggests that the person in question Person died some time ago. In episode 46 of the Turkish television series Winter sun ( Kış Güneşi ) tells İsmail a joke:

"Why do we always eat halva after a meal with fish?
... "So the fish knows that it is dead and gone!"

See also


Beat you halva in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.