Sunday, August 10, 2014

662. Bahraini Halawa

This following last month's Algerian Kaak, this month's MENA Cooking Club Challenge is the beautiful Bahrain.

Bahrain's challenge host is the cheery and bright Joanne from What's On The List?
I have always wanted to tackle a homemade version of Bahraini Halawa (حلاوى بحرينية), and even got a recipe from a Bahraini expert, but for some reason it took this challenge to finally get me making it.
I discovered it is very similar in concept to Qatari Sago wherein the sugar is also caramelized before a starchy thickening liquid is added. The primary difference is that Qatari sago uses sago peals, and Bahraini halawa uses cornstarch.


1 cup sugar
3 cups water
1/2 cup cornflour
1/2 cup rosewater
1 large pinch saffron
1 1/2 tsp round cardamom
1/2 tsp liquid red food coloring
1/4 cup oil
1 cup roughly chopped nuts (cashew and pistachio)


Seep the saffron in the rosewater; set aside.
Dissolve the cornstarch in the water; set aside.
Over medium-high heat, melt the sugar until a light brown.
As soon as all the sugar has melted, add the whisked cornstarch-water mix and stir continuously with a wooden spoon.
The sugar will harden immediately, but do not worry and keep stirring until it dissolves and the mixture is smooth.
Add the saffron-rosewater, ,cardamom, red food coloring, and the oil.
Stir frequently over medium heat until a ball forms around the wooden spoon as you stir and the mixture removes itself from the sides (total cooking time 35-40 minutes)
Stir in the nuts then pour into your serving container.
Decorate with more nuts and refrigerate until set and ready to serve.

 صحة و عافية


Umm Hamza Harley said...

As-Salaamu Alaykum,
I love how deep red your halwa is! simply Beautiful. Barak Allahu Feeki

Noor said...

Wow mashAllah perfection. If anyone could do it of course you could :) Now I want to go make this. How was it? I have also heard of sago here, but I have no idea what sago even is or where to get it. Which one is better? Thank you for being part of the club I just love your blog and all your beautiful recipes mashAllah

Noor said...

Btw do you use instagram? Add me noorlq

Aiza said...

Your images are so amazing, and i can't help but stare at that dessert. It looks so much like a jelly.

Sadaf F K. said...

Pretty impresing. Deep red color alone is making me drolling over. :) how was its taste btw?

Maryam Mohammed said...

Wa alaikum al Salam Um Hamza! Thank you and may Allah bless you too. The deep red is due in part to the food coloring added as per the recipe I got from a Bahraini. The halawa is usually find sold tinted either red or green.

Maryam Mohammed said...

Jazaki Allah khair dear Noor for creating this club! And thank you for your kind words, it was really fun making it. You can find sago pearls in any Indian and/or Philippino community, both of which are prominent in the Arabian Gulf states. Just as at a supermarket and they should readily have it available.
As fo taste, the texture is everthing, so if you like a nutty dessert, Bahraini is the way to go. If you feel like a more thick pudding-like dessert, go for the sago. I like the sago while still warm and the Bahraini cold :)

Maryam Mohammed said...

Just requested addition :)

Maryam Mohammed said...

Salam Aiza. Thanks!
Compared to a jelly, this is a much thicker and more dense dessert. Actually, it is almost like a Turkish delight.

Maryam Mohammed said...

Thank you Sadaf! It tastes like an intensely aromatic Turkish delight with all the rosewater, saffron, cardamom, and nuts.

Noor said...

Did I add you?

Maryam Mohammed said...

Yes :)