October 19, 2010

Sesame Halva or Halva Thahini

Sesame Halva is a favorite dessert in the Middle East.. In Kuwait it is known as Rehash (this word comes from Arabic Language).It is a traditional sweet among Arabs. I used it as an ingredient to make Coffee sweets of Arabs, from my experience if I made some thing with Rehash, it is guaranteed for sale. Rehash is available in different flavor with Rose water, spices, Dates syrup etc. Served with coffee or tea, it is the perfect ending to any meal.


This type of halva is made by grinding oily seeds, such as sesame, to a paste and then mixing with hot sugar syrup cooked to hard-crack stage. This type is popular in the eastern Mediterranean and Balkan regions, in countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro Bulgaria, Russia, Greece and Cyprus , Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Iran, Lebanon, Macedonia, Albania, Syria, Central Asia, Southern India, Caucasus region and Turkey. It is also popular in Algeria and on the central Mediterranean islands of Malta.


Sesame halva is popular in the Balkans, Middle East, and other areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The primary ingredients in this confection are sesame seeds or paste (tahini), and sugar, glucose or honey. (called ‘erq al halaweh in Arabic; çöven in Turkish), egg white, or marshmallow root are added in some recipes, to stabilize the oils in the mixture or create a distinctive texture for the resulting confection.
Other ingredients and flavourings such as pistachio nuts, cocoa powder, orange juice, vanilla, or chocolate are often added to the basic tahini and sugar base.
The word halva entered the English language between 1840-50 from the Yiddish halva. The latter term came from Romanian, which in turn came from the Turkish helva, a word which itself ultimately derived from the Arabic Al alwā, meaning sweet confection. The Arabic root حلوى alwā means "sweet".

Here is a recipe for sesame sweet: -


  • 3 cups sesame seeds
  • ¾ cup tahini
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice

In a skillet, heat sesame seeds over medium heat until lightly toasted  or can be toasted in an oven.

Once cooled, add sesame seeds to a food processor  or in a wet grinder one cup at a time and blend. Add tahini, sugar, honey, cinnamon and allspice and pulse until mixture is thick and nearly solid

Line a baking pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap and press mixture evenly into pan. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares and serve.

Some of the Coffee sweets with Sesame sweets.

 <<< Sesame Sweet available in the market
 Coffee sweet with Rahsh filling>>>>>>
 Arab cookie with Rehash>>>>>>>
 <<<< Arab Cookie with Rehash filling and Garnishing
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