Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Flour Halwa

Turkish people make and eat halwa on severeal occasions. Births, deaths, starting school, the first day at work, moving to another country, going on a pilgrimage, returning from a pilgrimage, starting and finishing the military service, circumcision, and weddings are some of those occasions which shows that Turkish people consider halwa as an irreplaceable component of their lives. Today, funerals are the most common ceremonies that are accompanied with halwa, though.

Well, it's not written in any books, however, it's one of the first things we remember to make and share with friends, relatives and neighbours on special days and nights. When we feel happy or sad, we feel the need to make halwa and share it with others. It's more like a custom in Turkey which could be listed as part of our intangible cultural heritage. 

In this respect, I find it extremely important to preserve this knowledge of how to share sorrows and joys in life. Halwa is  one of those few factors that we constantly create in response to our environment, our interaction with nature and our history. So, halwa could be called a treat which provides us with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity. When you take a closer look at the use of the word 'halwa', it becomes more and more meaningful to you. It originated from the Arabic words 'hulwiyyat' or 'halawiyyat' and in current Arabic halwa means 'cute, pretty or lovely'. 

250 g butter
2 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup water
50 grams nuts
cinnamon, optional

1. Take a pan and heat it over medium heat for 1 minute.
2. Add the butter and melt it.
3. Sieve the flour into the pan and stir constantly over low heat until it turns golden brown.
4. Meanwhile, pour in water and milk into another pan. Add in sugar and stir until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat.
5. Pour the water-milk-sugar mixture onto the roasted flour very slowly and continue stirring.
6. When the mixture boils and then gets thicker in consistency, remove the pan from heat.
7. Let it cool with the lid on for 10 minutes.
8. Shape the halwa using a wet tablespoon and garnish with pistachios, pine nuts or any other nuts you like.

No comments:

Post a Comment