Rose & Pistachio Halawa 

Welcome to my baby love: Halawa aka Halva aka Halwa, whatever you would like to call it. Halawa is a treasured piece of probably too sweet dessert in the Middle East. It has a few very simple ingredients, is easy to make, and can be made in various flavour varieties.


Tahini is a loanword from Arabicطحينة‎‎ [tˤaħiːna], or more accurately ṭaḥīniyya طحينية, is derived from the root ط ح ن Ṭ-Ḥ-N which as a verb طحن ṭaḥana means “to grind”,[1] the same root as طحين [tˤaħiːn], “flour” in some dialects.


The most important ingredient is sesame tahini. Sesame tahini is the same tahini we add in hummus, baba ghanoush and other mezzas. Tahini is consumed as is with honey on a piece of bread  – think peanut butter & honey, but tahini & honey instead! And also used in sauces, and dressings.


The three most popular variations or ‘flavours” of halawa is plain, pistachio & rose, and chocolate. However the possibilities are endless and I have seen lavender halawa, dark chocolate & orange halawa, and even sugar-free halawa just to name a few. Even Patchi a famous Middle Eastern chocolatier created a chocolate with delicious halawa stuffing.


But enough about halawa itself, below is the recipe to make this at home, let me know if you end up making Halawa, and what flavour you did – I am very curious!

Rose & Pistachio Halawa

(prep time: 30 minutes, total time: 1.5 hrs)


– 1/2 Cup sesame tahini

– 1/2 Cup powdered milk

– 1 Cup powdered sugar (very important that you use powdered sugar)

– 1/4 pistachios

– 1 tbs Rose water to taste



– In a bowl mix: powdered sugar and powdered milk very well, set  aside

– Prep the sesame tahini by mixing it very well, it usually has a bit of oil separating on top. It needs to be mixed to the point that it is one consistent texture before adding it to anything, you can add drops of water to help with consistency.

– Start adding tahini into mixture slowly, add a little bit to mixture and mix, and then add more. until all of it is used.

– Add rosewater

– Get gloves and really mix the mixture, should feel like a tough dough at this point.

– Add chopped pistachios to mixture, again bits by bits at a time until all is mixed  {There are two ways to chop pistachios as you still want your pistachios crunchy not fine.

A. Set pistachios in ziplock bag, and bang with hammer OR

B. Set pistachios on cutting board and chop roughly with a knife}

– Once mixture is ready set in small serving bowl, and while wearing the protective gloves push the paste into the bowl. In the photo I used a brie bowl because it has a lid.

– Once pressed you can add a few pistachios on top for decoration

– Cut a piece of parchment paper size of your bowl, and set over mixture, this will absorb any extra oil that will eventually sit back on top.

– Set in fridge for at least an hour

– Enjoy!



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