Israeli Halvah

Halva is the magical confection originated in Persia 14 centuries ago. Since the it’s taken many paths throughout the Middle East, Greece, and India and then branching out to Eastern Europe, and then Israel and the United States. Originally made with flour and butter, it eventually was made with sesame seeds in Eastern Europe where Jews had limitations on using butter. Each way is great yet very different. This sesame version of Halvah is from Israel.

Israeli Halvah

Halvah- Israeli Crushed Sweet Sesame Seeds

Israeli Halvah is a soft, fudge-like candy made from sesame paste. As long as good quality sesame seeds and olive oil are used, and you have a candy thermometer, halvah is really easy to make. It's a tasty treat that will be devoured.
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Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Israel, Middle Eastern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 24
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • 8×8-inch (20x20cm) square baking pan
  • Medium saucepan
  • Candy thermometer
  • Stand Mixer with paddle attachment
  • Parchment paper


  • 1 large Lemon's zest
  • 2 cups Granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract or insides scraped from ½ vanilla bean
  • ½ cup Water
  • cup Pure tahini
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt


  • Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest with water. Stir to dissolve sugar. Without stirring, allow mixture to reach 245°F (118°C).
  • While syrup is cooking, place tahini and salt to the bowl of a mixer. Beat on medium speed and with the motor running, slowly stream the syrup into the tahini. Continue mixing until syrup is incorporated and mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Don't overmix.
  • Using a heat proof spatula, quickly scoop the mixture into the parchment lined baking pan. Place a second piece of parchment on top and smooth out the top of the halvah with your hands. Let cool completely and then cut into squares. Store at room temperature in a covered container.


Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

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