Bahrain is a small island country situated near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. Their famous Halwa is known by the name Halwa Showaiter, which is the name of the well known local family who created the recipe. They have several shops around Bahrain, if you ever visit make sure you pop in one of those stores and buy this wonderful aromatic dessert. They use special large containers where halwa is mixed for hours! Here you can see how Shuwaiter family makes it. Some more photos of the ready product. It can be made with ordinary cornflour but the original is made with Sago, so if you can find it even better! There are several versions of this dessert, with various ingredients. This recipe is for the red halwa, there are also green and yellow ones. Unfortunately i couldn't find recipes for the other two. If you love Turkish delight, you will definitely like this one too!
1. In a large pot add sugar and dry fry stirring all the time until melted. I used half white half brown sugar becuase i didn't have enough white. Sugar has to melt completely, then add water while stirring all the time. Sugar will harden and form into pieces, but don't worry during the cooking it will dissolve again. Cook for another 15 minutes.
2. Chop pistachios into small pieces, you can use food processor if you want, but dont make it too fine. I didn't have walnuts so i made it without, but don't skip walnuts!
3. Melt butter.
4. Pour rose water, about 50-70ml warm water into a cup and add saffron. Leave it to stand for 15 min, then add this together with the melted butter to the sugar and pistachio and mix well.
5. In a bowl add cornflour and mix with 2 cups of water until smooth. Slowly pour into the sugar liquid. Add cinnamon, cardamon, pistachio and walnuts.
Now cook for at least 20 minutes while stirring all the time. if too thick add small amount of water.
When ready immediately pour into the serving bowls or you can pour into the squared tray and later cut into cubes.
- 1 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup cornflour
- 30g butter
- 2-3 Tbsp rose water
- 2 Tsp saffron
- 2 Tsps cinnamon
- 1/2 cup pistachio
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 Tsp cardamon
- extra pistachio for decoration
- red food colouring (optional)