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  • Writer's pictureHila


Updated: Jun 28

Halvah is the famed crumbly dense Arab confection made with tahini and sugar (the word halvah means “sweet”). The process of making halvah resembled candy making, sugar is heated until it starts to crystalize, then quickly blended with tahini.

The result is a soft confection, that becomes crumbly when you slice it and then melts in your mouth.

I grew up in a small town on the road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and my family's day trips always included a visit to the Arabic village Abu Gosh located on the mountain slopes of Jerusalem. We were heading to the small local bakeries, where a fresh batch of halvah had been made every single day. After moving to the US, I discovered that it’s easy to make halvah at home, and you don’t really need to have a candy-making experience to succeed.

This recipe will guide you through the process, trust me - it’s easier than you could imagine, and the result is extremely rewarding.

Servings 15-20


  • 2 cups (480 gr) tahini

  • 2.5 cups (500 gr) cane sugar

  • 1 cup (240 ml) water

  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup of nuts (pistachio. walnuts, almonds...) unsalted


  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

  2. Lightly toast the nuts or seeds in a dry skillet. Remove and set aside.

  3. Pour the tahini into a mixer bowl, and set it into the electric mixer with a guitar attachment.

  4. In a saucepan combine sugar, vanilla, and water, stirring occasionally on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and let the mixture simmer into a thick syrup until your thermometer reads 250℉. If you do not use a thermometer – drop about 1/2 teaspoon of syrup into a small bowl filled with cold water. If it forms a clear ball, the syrup is ready.

  5. Turn on the electric mixer, and QUICKLY pour the syrup into the bowl with the tahini. Mix just until combined, then add in the nuts, and QUICKLY mix to spread the nuts evenly. It is important that you work fast as the mixture is hardened very quickly.

  6. QUICKLY transfer the mixture into the lined pan and press down to get rid of any air bubbles.

  7. Cover with parchment paper and set aside to harden at room temperature.

  8. Release from the pan, slice into small squares and serve. Store covered at room temperature.


To remove the hard syrup from the saucepan fill it with water and place it on medium heat, place the spoon and the thermometer inside. Heat until all syrup leftovers melt, then wash with soap and water.

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