Turkish Halwa (Or Aside)

NOTES: Halwa is a common and much-loved molasses-based dessert of Turkey. In the region of Cappadocia, the dish is called Aside; elsewhere in Turkey, Halwa is the more common term. The dish is made with or without walnuts, depending on where in the country you eat it. (In Cappadocia, walnuts are seldom used.)

Ingredients:

cup vegetable oil

1 cup flour

1 cup molasses

Walnuts (optional)

Water (as needed)

Method:

Add the vegetable oil to a shallow sauce pan or small frying pan. Stir it while it warms. Add the flour to the oil. Stir the mixture until the oil absorbs all of the flour and it begins to turn brown. Continue stirring until the bottom of the mixture is a brownish-pink and the consistency is between that of a pudding and a paste.

Add the molasses. Keep stirring until it becomes almost like caramel. Once the mixture is fully smooth, remove the disk-like combination to a dinner plate. Shape it into a circle, then use the inside of a spoon to press down on the halwa to create a decorative oval shape around the edges.