Saturday, May 29, 2010


Halva roughly translates to "sweet-meat", and is the catch-all nomenclature for a large number of small Middle-Eastern & Indian confections. Depending on whom you ask, Halva can be made w/ sesame seeds, or tahini, or carrots, or something else all together. Similarly, technique also varies from source to source. Some recipes call for a roux, others call for a cooked sugar-syrup and some don't call for any cooking at all.

My main goal was to achieve a texture as close to the commercial stuff as possible -- so dense, yet so impossibly light. The best I was able to do was w/ this no-cook recipe. The result was flavorful and dense, but not nearly light as the store-bought stuff.

Iranian Halva

1 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup tahini
1 tsp rose water
1/4 cup honey

1. pulverize toasted sesame seeds in a food processor until light and fluffy. add tahini and rose water, pulse until the sesame mixture starts to form a paste. drizzle in honey and continue to pulse until a sticky, semi-firm mass forms.

2. wrap halva in wax paper and let set in the fridge for 24 hours.


I also tried a cooked syrup based recipe w/ mixed results. This batch was way sweeter and recieved more favorable reviews from tasters, however, I didn't like the texture -- it was more like a soft-chew caramel than any halva I've ever had.

© 2009 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -