While we are on our family holiday we take it in turn to cook; the first day is always sausages, the last day is always left overs (although this year we also had a superb chicken curry). So, day two was pie, day three was roast, day four was Thai curry, day five lasagna and day six tagine… We don’t have deserts, we have cake! The advantage of cake is that if any of us is going out for the day and need a picnic or snack, cake is just the thing, easy to transport and no container except a plastic bag needed. We had a great and varied selection this year, Battenberg, fruit cake, brownies, ginger cake, flapjack, lemon cake.. and my favourite, halva!
Cousin Greg made the halva, and I have to confess, I think I probably ate more than my fair share! Now, there are many different sorts of halva – the word originally just meant sweet and then came to mean any sweetmeat or dessert. I associate it with Greece, Turkey and the middle east, but when I came to investigate, it’s popular much further afield! as far as Lithuania and Myanmar!
There are, it seems two types, one with a cooked flour base, and one with a nut or seed base, both mixed with something sweet – usually honey, and with flavourings and other tasty ingredients, and can also be made using pulses and vegetables such as pumpkin. it’s usually quite dry and crumbly, but with different ingredients it can be soft and almost squidgy.
Cousin Greg very kindly shared his recipe which is no-cook, tahini-based, honey-added, simple but delicious! So less than a week after we arrived home I had a go at making it…
I decorated it with almonds and pistachios
It was very easy, and it is tasty, and not bad for a first attempt… but not as good as Greg’s!