How to Make Omani Halwa

Omani halwa is a new halwa that I tried making yesterday. Once a month, I try out a sweet recipe. Since everyone in my family have a sweet tooth, whatever I make is finished off immediately. I had my first taste of Omani halwa when I went to Oman to visit my sister. I had a chance to visit the Muscat Festival, the world renowned Annual Fair. The fair was a wonderful experience and I had a lovely time, especially my kids who had great fun. It was there that I happened to know about Omani food and tasted the enticing Omani halwa made of tapioca starch and black Omani halwa made of dates. Though I have been having the recipe all this while, it was only yesterday that I thought of it. Here is the recipe for Omani halwa with corn starch. If you don’t have corn starch, you can use corn flour. I have also added plenty of nuts to make the halwa rich and special.

Recipe for Omani halwa

Ingredients:

  • Tapioca starch: 2 cups
  • Water: 1 ½ cups
  • Sugar: 4 cups
  • Water: 4 cups
  • Red food coloring: ½ tsp
  • Saffron strands: few
  • Ghee: ½ cup
  • Rose essence: 1 tsp/ Rose water: 2 tbsp
  • Cardamom powder: ½ tsp
  • Nutmeg powder: ½ tsp
  • Toasted sesame seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts: 20
  • Pista flakes: 20
  • Almonds: 20

Preparation:

  • Add 1 ½ cups of water to the tapioca starch. Add the food color. Mix well so that there are no lumps.
  • Blanch and sliver the almonds.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a non stick pan. Add the cashew nuts and slivered almonds and roast for a few seconds. Remove from pan and keep aside.
  • Make sugar syrup by mixing sugar with 4 cups of water. Boil the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Method:

  • Keep the sugar syrup on the stove and heat it.
  • Add the tapioca starch and stir and cook on reduced flame.
  • Add the nutmeg powder, cardamom powder and saffron.
  • Keep on stirring the halwa until the halwa starts leaving the sides of the pan.
  • Continue stirring and keep adding little by little as you keep stirring until you use all the ghee. Stirring will become difficult and your hand will pain, but don’t stop. You will certainly forget the pain and difficult when the halwa is made and you taste it.
  • The halwa will form a lump.
  • Add the rose essence/rose water and sesame seeds and mix well.
  • Continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  • Add the roasted cashew nuts and almond strips and mix well.
  • Switch off the flame and garnish with pista flakes.
  • Enjoy the halwa hot in a bowl if you don’t have the patience to wait for it to cool.
  • You can also cut it into pieces. For this you have to grease a tray with 2 tbsp of ghee (before garnishing the halwa with pistachio flakes). Spread the halwa evenly on the tray using a spatula. Now garnish with pistachio flakes. Allow the halwa to cool and cut into desired pieces and enjoy the delicious mouthwatering Omani halwa.