Persian Halva is a sweet dense paste made of flour and butter, mixed with a syrup of sugar, saffron, rosewater and cardamom that gives it a pleasant taste and smell. Halva is originally an Arabic dessert literally meaning “sweet”, but it has found its way to many Asian and north African countries, and in every region it is prepared and served differently. In Iran it is usually served at funerals or during Ramadan(fasting) month, garnished with shredded coconut or slivered almonds.
Heat butter or oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Then add the flour and reduce heat as low as possible.
Stir the flour continuously and patiently until it turns to a golden brown color. Adjust oil if necessary and set aside
Mix hot water with sugar, saffron, rosewater and cardamom. Stir well until sugar is melted and slowly pour it in the flour and butter mixture. Take care to not pour it all at once.
Put the saucepan back over the stove and set the heat to medium-low. Stir it continuously again until it thickens. It usually takes 1-2 minutes to be ready.
Spread Halva onto a plate or platter and garnish with slivered almonds or shredded coconuts.