Persian Wheat Halva


Halva or Halwa is a soft Middle-eastern confection. There are many different types of Halva made from different flours from sesame seed to rice and to wheat flour. In Iran, we have a whole selection of confectioneries that are traditionally served during funerals or honoring a deceased loved one.  Persian wheat Halva is definitely the most common one. I remember my mom making Halva and quietly whispering prays for my grandma and my father's souls.  
Last week, I made a wheat Halva for my uncle who is in the hospital and was craving it. Persian wheat Halva is a mix of wheat flour, sugar, oil, perfumed with rosewater and saffron, and decorated with crushed pistachios & rose petals. 

Using good quality ingredients is a key to make a delicious Halva. Saffron plays a huge role in both the flavor and the color of Halva.  Back in March, I shared few baking tips including how to make the most out of your saffron with the amazing Louisa Shafia . Here is a link to read more about that interview which was published on food52 .

I learned this method from our amazing community on Instagram . It's easy and saves you time and money.

All you need is a small clean jar, saffron, and few ice cubes.  

1. Grind enough saffron, in a coffee grinder or a mortar, to get two teaspoons of ground saffron

2. Place three to four ice cubes in the jar, add two teaspoons of ground saffron and let the ice melt

3. Once the ice is melted, you'll have a deep and rich gorgeous saffron, always keep the saffron refrigerated



Persian Wheat Halva

Yield: 3 medium plates                                                     Bake time: 30 minutes


  • 2 cups (240g) flour

  • 1 cup olive oil

  • 2 cups Water

  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) sugar

  • 1/4 cup rosewater

  • 4 tsps brewed saffron

  • enough ground pistachios & rose petals to garnish


  1. Add two cups of water and sugar to a medium size saucepan, place on medium heat

  2. Once the sugar is melted, about 3 minutes or so, add the rose water and saffron after few boils remove the pan and place aside until the flour mix is ready

  3. Place a large size cooking pot on a medium heat, add the flour, roast the flour by constantly stirring. If the flour is getting too dark too quickly, lower the heat until the flour is golden brown

  4. Once the flour is completely toasted, keep the heat on low and add the oil, constantly mix

  5. Now you have a thick paste, remove from the heat, slowly add the saffron syrup to the flour while consistently mixing.

  6. Vigorously mix the batter until the Halva doesn't stick to the sides of the pan

  7. Serve in your favorite dish and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon, sprinkle with ground pistachios and rose petals

  8. Cover the plates with plastic wrap and keep in the room temperature.


You can also watch me making this Halva on my Instagram highlights. If you bake this Halva, please tag me on your photo, love to see your creation.