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January 16, 2024
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Sarah Flanagan/bridgesforpeace.comHalva is a sweet treat made from tahini or sesame paste. Thought to have originated in ancient Persia, halva has captured the hearts of Israelis and is a sweet treat of choice enjoyed throughout the year. It has become a feature in markets around the country, with Jerusalem’s Mehane Yehuda market boasting a delightful variety of colors and flavors on stall tables. This delicious dessert is simple to make. You can enjoy it on its own, crumble it over ice-cream or add it to sweet pastries.


1 1/2 cup tahini or sesame paste

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

Suggested toppings

½ cup crushed pistachio

1 Tbsp. honey

1 tsp. sea salt


  1. Line a baking tin with parchment paper.
  2. Add the water to a saucepan and heat over a medium heat.
  3. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Using a candy thermometer, heat the syrup until it reaches 250°F/121°C. (If you don’t have a candy thermometer, drip some of the syrup into a bowl of cold water after it has been boiling for 10 minutes. When the syrup forms hard, teardrop-like shapes in the water, it is ready).
  6. Pour the tahini paste into a separate bowl and add the sugar syrup.
  7. Mix until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl.
  8. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and sprinkle over your toppings of choice.
  9. Leave to cool for a few hours or overnight.
  10. Slice and enjoy.
Serves up to 10 people

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