Yield
Serves 12
Time
15 minutes + 1 hour maceration prep, 30 minutes cooking

Carrot + Walnut Halva | halva-ye havij-e urmia

This nutritious, gluten-free and comforting halva is associated with the Winter Festival/shab-e yalda in Azarbaijan.

Ingredients

Halva

  • 2lb/900g carrots, peeled and cut to 1in/2.5cm slices
  • 1 cup/200g sugar
  • 1 cup/240ml grape molasses
  • 2 cups/250g walnuts, toasted and coarsely ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons rose water
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachio kernels
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds or coconuts flakes
  • 1/4 cup/40g coarsely chopped walnuts

Cooking in IranCooking in Iran
by Najmieh Batmanglih

Directions

1. To make the halva: Puree the carrots and sugar in a food processor. Transfer to a medium-sized laminated cast-iron pot. Cover and allow to macerate for 1 hour.

2. Place the pot over low heat, cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Set aside 2 tablespoons for garnish.

3. Add the grape molasses and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

4. Add the walnuts (reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish), saffron-rose water, cardamom, and cinnamon, stirring constantly for 2 to 4 minutes, until you have a thick, grainy halva.

5. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with the carrots, pistachios, almonds and walnuts. Allow to cool and serve either as a main dish with lavash bread or alone as a dessert. Nush-e joon!

Excerpted from Cooking in Iran by Najmieh Batmanglij. Copyright 2018 Mage Publishers.