THE SWEET TASTE OF OMAN

My Wedding - - FOOD & DRINK -

A trip to Oman is not com­plete with­out try­ing some of its de­li­ciously sweet lo­cal del­i­cacy - Omani halwa. Halwa is tra­di­tion­ally served with Omani Kahwa (cof­fee), both at homes and in restaurants across the coun­try. It is par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar on spe­cial oc­ca­sions such as wed­dings or birth­day cel­e­bra­tions. It is also con­sumed dur­ing Ra­madan and Eid feasts. The recipe is sub­ject to much de­bate as ev­ery Omani has their own per­sonal favourite, with in­gre­di­ents and pro­por­tions vary­ing be­tween mak­ers and from dif­fer­ent lo­cales of pro­duc­tion. In fact, halwa-mak­ers are fiercely pro­tec­tive of their se­cret recipes as their liveli­hood may de­pend on it.

In­gre­di­ents:

• 20 litres of wa­ter • 10kg white su­gar • 1kg brown su­gar • 2kg whole wheat starch • Dash of Rose Wa­ter • 1kg Ghee (clar­i­fied but­ter) • 2tspns Saf­fron • Car­damom, al­monds & nut­meg for gar­nish

In­struc­tions:

Pout most of the wa­ter (12-15 litres) in a large cop­per caul­dron and bring to the boil over very high heat. Add brown su­gar and stir un­til dis­solved. Then do the same for the white su­gar. Set about half the mix­ture aside and leave other half to sim­mer. Add starch to re­main­der of wa­ter and strain into the boil­ing syrup us­ing a sieve. Keep stir­ring. Add the first half of syrup then do not stir for about 2 hours. Add ghee and wa­ter (if re­quired). Lower the heat the keep stir­ring un­til halwa holds to­gether. Add saf­fron and rose wa­ter and stir for about 40-min­utes. When thick, re­move from heat and put into plates or con­tain­ers. Gar­nish with sliv­ered al­monds, cashew nuts or nut­meg.

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