Omani Halwa is a beloved sweet. There are numerous recipes for this treat. Some recipes are fiercely guarded and have been passed on from generation to generation and the halwa is often sold in the souks.
In Oman, the halwa is cooked in a very large copper pot, called mirjnl, for a couple of hours. It requires constant stirring which makes it a labor intensive process.
Halwa is served at all sorts of gatherings, usually with coffee (kahwa), and is enjoyed at weddings, funerals, birthday celebrations and during Ramadan. Omani halwa is also simply served as dessert with Omani coffee or sometimes just to show hospitality.
Usually Omani halwa is served in little bowls or cups and comes in many different varieties. This recipe does require constant stirring but thankfully won’t take a couple hours.
The result is a soft, sweet gelatinous mixture that is flavored with saffron, cardamom, ghee, nuts and rose water.
Did you know that coffee is known to be superb in Oman and that it is always served with dates? The coffee is served in little cups which are never full. Traditionally Omani drink coffee in a thousand little sips each served separately. It is part of the Omani hospitality to take time in conversation over many little sips of delicious coffee. Get some little cups and enjoy the Omani halwa with some great coffee and why not serve some dates too for a truly authentic experience.
If you would like to learn more about this very interesting country be sure to check out “Our Journey to Oman” plus you can get more authentic Omani recipes.
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- 1 Cup Tapioca flour
- 3/4 Cup Water
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Red food coloring
- 1 pinch Saffron strands
- 1 Tablespoon Ghee
- 1 Tablespoon Rose water
- 1/4 teaspoon Cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 Tablespoon Roasted sesame seeds
- 1/4 Cup Cashew nuts
- 1/4 Cup Almonds Sliced/Blanched
- In a bowl, mix together the tapioca flour and water.
- Add in the food coloring and mix until all is combined, set aside.
- Heat the ghee is a non stick pan and add in the cashews and almonds. Roast until slightly brown and set aside.
- In a saucepan combine the 2 cups of water and sugar together and bring to a boil until the sugar is totally dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Next heat up the sugar/water mixture over a low flame.
Add in the tapioca mixture
- Add in the nutmeg, cardamom and saffron into the pot.
- Keep stirring until the halwa starts to pull away from the side of the pan.
Keep stirring and when it seems nice and gelatinous, add in the rose water, sesame seeds, and roasted cashews and almonds.
- Turn off the heat and put the halwa in serving bowls and garnish with additional nuts if desired. It can be served either hot or cold.