Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sesame or tahini halva recipe - How to make sesame or tahini halva


Recipe for Sesame Halva, or Tahini Halva: a sweet treat. Learn how to make the best halva.

Halva is basically a crystalized paste of sesame seeds (tahini) and sugar—a flaky sweet confection based on crushed sesame seeds.

Halva best translated as sweetmeat—derives from the arabic for "sweet". Halvas are traditional across a wide range of cultures, spread geographically from north Africa, through the Middle East, the Levant and the Balkans, to central Asia and India.

This sweet treat is produced from quality, natural ingredients and is regarded as one of the most nutritious and healthy natural foods. This is emphasized by the fact that sesame seed , grown in the lush, fertile fields of Thrace , is the basic ingredient (55%) used in the preparation of Halva.

Nutritional analysis results show it to be an excellent source of protein (26%) and polyunsaturated fats (60%), while being rich in vitamins and trace elements, such as iron and magnesium.

The following recipe is for Honey Sesame Halva which represents one of the variations.

Ingredients

2 cups (24 oz.; 700g) honey
flavourings—vanilla, coffee, chocolate,...
1½ cups (12 oz.; 340g) tahini — beaten to mix in any excess oil
optional 1½ cups nuts —try almonds

Preparation

Heat the honey, stirring to prevent local overheating. If using a sugar thermometer, simmer until the thermometer reaches 240 °F (115 °C) — otherwise, test for a ``soft ball '' syrup. Once you have reached the soft-ball temperature, let the honey-syrup cool for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, warm the tahini to about 50 °C; 120 °F. Fold the warmed tahini into the hot honey-syrup.

Before adding the tahini, you can add nuts (pistachio, almond, hazelnut) to the syrup. It's worth the effort to remove the skins and gently toast the nuts in a moderate oven (180 °C; 350 °F), and add the hot nuts to the hot syrup. Add as many as you want—this mixture will take up to 2 cups (8 oz.; 250g) of nuts if you like your halva that way; most shop-bought halva has far less.

Put the warm mixture into an oiled cake tin (either with a press-out base, or lined with baking paper), ramekins, or a plastic container. Once cool, seal to keep out any moisture and leave in the fridge for 36 hours (this allows the sugar crystals, which give halva its distinctive texture, time to grow). Cut while cold, with a sharp knife (if the halva is softer than the nuts it's difficult to make a clean cut, so this is easier when the halva is cold).

Save and share sesame or tahini halva recipe

Want to share this recipe with your family and friends? Click the button below to send them an email or save this to your favorite social network.

36 comments:

  1. Hi this is the best site for genuine recipes, million thanks, samiha

    ReplyDelete
  2. I tried the Honey Sesame Halva recipe and loved the taste, but it didn't crystalize as the recipe said would,and it stayed soft. I cut it into squares when cold but at room temps, the squares spread and no cut lines remained. I followed the recipe closely. I'd love to make this for gifts, but it isn't suitable like this. Can you help?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bev; The temperature stated in the recipe is too low. Instead of 240F raise the temperature to about 270F and you will find the result much more firm. Hope that helps. Former Halva maker.

      Delete
  3. This version of halva uses honey which spreads at room temperature. So, it should be cut while it’s cold, but serve at room temperature. If you use 2 cups of tahini in this recipe, it will become more firm (make sure you use good quality honey and tahini).

    Any how, I recommend other variations of halva for gifts. Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  4. I look forward to trying to make this!

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Bev: be sure you cook the honey long enough to reach the stage it will crystalize when cooling-use 2 testing methods-don't trust one thermometer. Also, there might be too much oil in your tahini-try another brand.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If the temp is raised to 130C it will turn out harder. How much oil is present in the tahini doesn't affect the hardness. Make sure you mix the tahini well before proceeding. This is excellent if eaten with hard crust bread.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Any one, would using freshly ground sesame seeds work better then tahini for texture?

    ReplyDelete
  8. If you were to add flavorings, at what point would you add them? ie cocoa or unsweetened chocolate--with the honey before bringing to soft ball, or later, with the nuts, or even later, with the tahini? Or melt the chocolate with the tahini and add them together to the honey caramel? I am thinking of using maple syrup though, instead of honey...and we'll see if it works, because that's almost like making maple sugar candies and adding tahini.

    ReplyDelete
  9. To add flavoring,after you stir the tahini and honey, thoroughly incorporate the cocoa into the batter.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This recipe doesn't work. Heating it to soft ball stage doesn't make the honey hard when it cools. That crap about crystallizing is BS-you simply arent heating the honey long enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, a little worked up over a recipe???

      Delete
  11. to make sugar crystals the easiest way is to throw in a pinch of granulated sugar when mixing in the nuts...sugar crystals will form as they will have a starter not unlike adding a culture to milk to make yougert.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Here in Australia, you can buy at a good Greek or specialty deli' a Halva cake it is just so yummy,I have been told it comes from Greece,it is on a cake stand and normally you buy it as you would a slice of cake it is very fresh.. does anyone out there now how to make this Halva cake? it has a crystallized texture,it also seems to have a really good quality dark chocolate in it as well as nuts. hope some one out there knows this Recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is the recipe I'm looking for. I bought some of the real good stuff at the Queen Vic Markets yesterday and I wondered if I could make it.

      Delete
  13. Honey is poisonous when heated over 40oC!! Is it possible to use the honey cold?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In this recipe, unfortunately the honey should be heated. But here is another version of halva which does not use honey, you can try: Turkish Sesame Halva/Tahini Halva

      Delete
    2. You have to eat Gallons of heated honey for the poisons to affect you!

      Delete
    3. http://dawn.com/2011/01/09/myth-buster-want-some-honey/

      Delete
    4. Overheated honey is not poisonous. It simply loses its healing qualities - the enzymes die, that's all. If overheated honey was poisonous so would be all cakes and pastries that use honey, all stir fry sauces that use honey, and we all would be dead!!! :-)

      Delete
  14. you can make a nice spread by mixing Tahini with honey - great with fingers of warm pitta bread.

    As far as I know heating honey does distroy some of its health beifits, and affect it's keeping properties - so as a bee keeper I can't sell honey heated over a certain temp, however it does not make it poisonous - other wise you couldn't have honey cake and lodes of other rescipies

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank for sharing this valuable information about honey.

      Delete
  15. I don't understand, the halva I'm used to is dry and crumbles when you eat it, and almost melts in your mouth. The halva I'm used to is the kind shown in the upper-left of the photo.

    But when I tried this recipe, it came out like the square caramel candies or toffee. It was really hard to cut at cold temperatures and didn't taste like the halva I'd had before.

    Did I do something wrong, or is the photo above not the same halva as the recipe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe the following
      halvah recipe is similar to the one your are used to OR the following Homemade halvah

      I wish you the best, hoping that one of the previous recipes is what you are looking for

      Delete
    2. This is exactly what happened to me. Next time I tried I used more tahini than honey (wasn't writing any proportions but I had 1 jar of tahini, about 3/4 smaller jar of honey so I'd say the proportion was about 4 parts of tahini to 3 parts of honey. I poured the honey and heated it only to the stage when it started foaming and bubbling. I stirred in the tahini. I didn't heat the tahini. I stirred for a little longer and poured into a baking tin that was lined with plastic wrap. I cut it after 48 hours - it begun developing the crystally crumbly structure. I've just eaten the rest of it, 5 days after making and the texture has developed some more. So my experience is - use less honey than tahini, do not heat the honey to the 115C but less, and leave in the fridge for a week to cure. I will try again because now I feel encouraged. My first attempt was greasy, gluey and way too sweet. I know that halva needs to be sweet, but that first batch was too much.

      Delete
  16. I share a link for this recipe on my blog www.HealthyFrugalista.com . It looks delicious! I tried halva for the first time this morning at a Middle Eastern market.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love this recipe. I use less honey, and I also found that when I've used tahini brand that was more oily the oil just gathered on the top of the halva, and I was able to blot it with paper towel.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I tried this but it came out like toffee. It was chewy! What happened? Please help! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi AP,

      If you don't mind, I recommend this newly posted halva recipe, it's the best Middle Eastern Halva recipe, quick, easy, and tested.

      Here is the link:

      Halva Recipe - How to Make Halva

      Please try it and let me know. Good luck and best wishes.

      Delete
  19. For the lovers of sesame halva, please try the following newly posted recipe, here is the link:

    Halva Recipe - How to Make Halva

    Please try it and let me know about the result

    Thanks & regards to all of you

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi to all

    I, too, have had problems getting the halwa to set with this type of recipe. In my experience, honey does not boil to a "soft ball" stage. It simply boils and starts to boil over if you let it. Even after the halwa has been in the fridge for 36 hours, it comes out sticky and chewy, just like toffee as others have described, and is very difficult to cut.

    I much prefer the grain-based halwas like semolina, wheat flour, corn flour and chick pea flour. I have even used cous-cous.

    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Good work on the blog. It is the second place I turn to each day after powering up the computer and getting a cup of coffee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for following up my blog. I wish you the best.

      Delete
    2. Dear friends,
      What about the essential saponaria? As much as I understand, it is a crucial component as it form an emulsion.
      Yossi

      Delete

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Enjoy Middle Eastern and Lebanese Recipes! :)

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...