Armenian Halva: Quick, easy, tasty

The aroma of roast flour announces that halva (a paste of mainly nuts, sugar and oil) will be ready in a few minutes.

“There are many desserts and sweets, but home-made halva is the best. When I prepare halva I remember my childhood and the smell of it prepared by our grandmothers,” says Anahit Harutyunyan, talking about the traditional Armenian dessert. Halva used to be made in Armenian families during Tiarn’ndaraj, Easter and other holidays.

The white color of flour gradually darkens and she mixes it using a wooden spoon – preferable she says.

“When the flour changes its color and reddens, we add half a cup of oil and keep on mixing. At the same time we add half a cup of sugar,” Anahit says, mixing the mass in the frying-pan.

She says that it is necessary to mix till it becomes well blended and sticky.

“When you feel that it does not stick well, you may add a tablespoon of water. And if you have a sweet tooth, you may add some more sugar, depending on taste. You may also add some walnuts (previously crushed) at the moment when you add the oil to the roast flour,” she says.

The plates where halva will be put are resting on the kitchen table. Anahit says that halva should be put in plates while it is hot and should cool in plates.

Two middle-sized halvas are made of one portion of the dessert. However, you may put in into one big plate. Anahit compresses the halva in the plates with a spoon. Halva ‘settles down’ easily. At the end, the cook makes some decorations on the halva with a fork. “It is ready, you may try.”

Halva tastes like shortbread and, properly prepared, melts in the mouth -- sweet, gentle, airy and crumbly.

The following ingredients are necessary to prepare halva:
2 cups of flour

½ cup oil

½ cup sugar

100 grams of nuts

How to prepare halva:
Put 2 cups of flour into a frying-pan and roast it until it reddens. When reddened, add oil and continuously mix. Later add nuts, sugar and continue mixing. When it is well blended and sticky put it onto a plate and make flatten with a spoon. Decorate by making indentions with a fork.