There are three different types of halva in Turkey: tahini halva, which is known simply as halva here in the Sates, wheat flour halva, and semolina halva. Tahini halva is usually store-bought; actually I’ve never heard anyone who made tahini halva. As a matter of fact, I never liked tahini halva which my family highly enjoyed as main dessert after fish dinners. Semolina and wheat flour, on the other hand, are always home-made for funerals or religious days. Moms would make big batches of either semolina or wheat flour halva and send a halva plate with kids to everyone in the neighborhood. Other than funerals and religious days, semolina or wheat flour halva is perfect for midnight sugar-craze. Between two, I’ve always liked wheat flour better than semolina. It’s easy to make wheat flour halva, but it requires arm strength since you need to stir constantly. Here’s the recipe for a small batch.
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp canola oil
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup sugar
2 cups of water
2 tbsp pine nuts
-Start making roux with flour, butter, oil, and pine nuts on low heat. Important: Stir constantly until it turns into a brownish color. Change arms or pass the job to someone else, but stir constantly; you don’t want flour balls in your halva. And don’t forget; it may take a while.
-In a pot boil sugar and water.
-Once the flour mixture is brownish, pour syrup, one scoop at a time, and stir constantly until the whole syrup is soaked. It will get harder to stir. Turn it off, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
-With two spoons give halva some sort of spoon-shape and serve!
You can experiment with this recipe by either replacing water with milk or using 1 cup water and 1 cup milk.
Adventure for chocolate and/or coco lovers: add 1 tbsp coco to roux before you pour in the syrup or serve flour halva with chocolate syrup.