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Tar Halvah
Iranian Halvah
In Iran, the Ramadan fast is often broken with a cup of warm water, dates, an egg, tea, bread, honey and cheese, and a piece of tar halvah.
Total time: 45 minutes
1 lb. unsalted butter
3 cups white wheat or rice flour
2 cups water
1-¾cups sugar
2 tbsp. rosewater
1 tsp. saffron dissolved in 1 tbsp. hot water

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour a quarter-cup at a time. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly, until the flour is golden, then turn off the heat.

Combine the water and sugar in a small, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the rosewater and saffron. Steadily drizzle the syrup into the butter-flour mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until the syrup is well-incorporated and the mixture thickens.

Transfer the halvah to a serving platter. Smooth it out all over, then use a fork to imprint a pleasing pattern over the surface. Let the halvah rest for at least a half-hour before serving.