How to make tahini halva from scratch

The spring break is over and we’re already getting ready for the mid-term exams of the third semester of school! This is the shortest and busiest semester of them all!and I just know the upcoming 8 weeks are going to be fun!!

Usually when I am really busy, I try to make the best out of the weekends to make a few treats for the kids to enjoy throughout the week. In today’s post, I will be sharing a quick and easy version of one of my son’s favorite treats/breakfast items: Tahini halawa or halva.

The word halwa actually means “sweet” in Arabic and as the name implies, this halwa is all about the tahini. Traditionally, sesame was toasted then it was processed to make tahini. A mixture of sugar syrup and glucose was heated to the boiling point, it was then mixed with a plant root extract  called shirsh al halawa (شرش الحلاوة the root of hlawa) and it was then beaten for a couple of hours until it completely cools down. The sugary mixture was then mixed with the tahini by hand in a lengthy process, to give the halwa its distinctive color and texture. Nowadays this whole process is automated and it is done in factories.
tahini halva from scratch by chef in disguise.jpg

Tahini halva if you have never tried it before, is sweet, nutty, crumbly and melts in your mouth. It is not only tasty and addictive, it is also rich in protein, polyunsaturated fats, calcium, iron, and  magnesium because of the sesame oil that is in the tahini. You can enjoy tahini halwa plain, studded with nuts (almost always pistachios), flavored with chocolate , rose water or orange blossom water. My personal favorite is the pistachio one, the slight crunch of the pistachios with their vibrant rosy green color provides a beautiful contrast to the melt in your mouth ivory halwa


There are so many recipes for tahini out there, some use glucose, others use honey or sugar syrup  that is heated to the soft ball stage then it is mixed with the tahini . After that, it is allowed to cool and crystallize giving the halwa a flaky texture. Those recipes are really tricky and require careful monitoring of the temperature. The hot sugar syrup also tends to splatter when it is mixed with the tahini. They also lack a key ingredient which is the plant root extract.

I personally use a shortcut recipe that I got from a friend years ago. It only requires you to mix three simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, allow the halva to set in the fridge for a couple of hours and voila! You have a homemade version of your favorite tahini sweet treat.
Homemade tahini halva 3 simple ingredients are all you need.jpg

You can play around with the recipe to change up the flavor a bit, add cocoa powder for a chocolate version, perhaps even spruce it up with a bit of coffee. You can add vanilla, use different types of nuts. The possibilities are really endless but before you go on to explore all the crazy and tasty flavor combination give the basic tahini halva with pistachio a try as it is written below and let me know what you think of it .

You can serve your tahini as part of of a middle eastern breakfast or use it to wow your friends at your next party by serving it in a an antipasto platter. You can also use it as a filling for cinnamon rolls or sweet bread.

Tahini halwa toast.jpg

Tahini halva from scratch

1 cup tahini

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup powdered milk

Optional but highly recommended

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon orange blossom water

1 cup chopped pistachios


1. In a bowl mix the powdered sugar and the powdered milk

2. Add the tahini sauce and mix with a spatula until the mix is homogenous and crumbly

3. If the mix is too dry you can add some tahini sauce and if it is too wet add some powdered milk. You will know that it is ready when you take a handful of it and press it in your hand and it holds its shape

4. Line a container or a mold with parchment paper

5. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios on the bottom

6. Press the halwa mix into the mold. Make sure that you pack it in tightly

7. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours preferably over night


طريقة تحضير الحلاوة الطحينيه في البيت

1 كوب طحينه

1 كوب سكر بودره

1 كوب حليب بودره

اضافات اختياريه للنكهه

ملعقه صغيره فانيلا

ملعقه صغيره ماء زهر

كوب فستق مفروم


نقوم بخلط السكر و الحليب ثم نضيف الطحينه و الفانيلا و ماء الزهرو  نخلط حتى نحصل على مزيج لو اخذنا القليل منه و ضغطناه براحه اليد تماسك و لم يتفتت

اذا كان الخليط جافا ممكن اضافه القليل من الطحينه و اذا كان رخوا ممكن اضافه القليل من الحليب البودره

نبطن وعاء بورق الخبز و نرش الفستق المفروم في القاع

نضيف خليط الحلاوه و نضغطه باحكام في الوعاء

نغطي الوعاء و نضعه في الثلاجه مده ساعتين على الاقل ليتماسك