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Halva making


Halvah is considered as dessert in the east. Mainly is it made from flour, walnut, hazel, fat seed (sesame, sunflower, ground-nut and soya-bean)  butter and sugar. Since ancient times people had been engaged in halvah making in different cities of Azerbaijan like Ganja, Shaki, Nakhchivan and Ardabil, Tabriz. Halvah has few kinds: halvah with nuts, seed halvah, samani halvah, bamiya, zulbiya, tara etc.

Shaki halvah is the most spread one. 
Shaki halvah, in reality has come from the east, Syria. Then it became more perfect in the Shaki. In Syria hazel pieces are added in it but in Shaki – almond pieces. One of the traditions of Shaki halvah making coming from ancient times is treating anybody visiting the shop with piece of halva. 
Presently there are masters that continue forefathers’ profession in the Shaki town, being engaged in halvah making..
The most difficult is preparation of the samani halvah. It sometimes called as suhan halva or İsfahan halva, too. One of the features distinguishing Samani halvah from other halvahs it is ecologically cleanness and preparation only from natural products. 
Once there were some ceremonies related to samani halvah, too. For instance, at the beginning of great chilla (period before the spring ) people cooked samani halvah in order to show that they are not afraid of winter. The flour of samani was taken from 7 homes. When cooked they put  almond pieces and if same is not available - hazelnuts. Then women join hands and sing song dedicated to samani. 
Presently samani halvah is prepared in Baku, Ganja, Nakhchivan and other regions. But masters of halvah making are just in Shaki and they do prefer preparing of Shaki halvah.

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