We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Halva?

By Janis Adams
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A common Middle Eastern dessert, halva is a sweet confection that is traditionally served with a strong coffee or tea. There are two types: one is a flour-based concoction, and the other uses finely ground nuts as its base. The texture varies greatly depending on the area from which its recipe is derived. It is often garnished with crushed pistachios or covered in chocolate. Recipes and additives vary somewhat from region to region, and from cook to cook.

The name comes from the Arabic word halawa, which means "sweet," a term that perfectly describes this concoction. Turkish and Hebrew cultures have recipes with slight variations on the Middle Eastern dessert. The inexpensive treat is eaten in small blocks and often savored, melting slowly on a person's tongue.

Halva is a quite simple and popular confection to make and takes very little time to prepare. It contains only a few basic ingredients, including water, sugar, and flour. The addition of rose water is what makes this sweet confection so unique.

The most common type of grain flour used to make halva is semolina, which is made from durum wheat. It is most often coarsely ground, as opposed to the traditional cooking flour that is finely ground. The yellow coloring of the semolina flour, also referred to as sameed, gives the treat a rich hue. While it tends to be coarse before cooking, this flour becomes soft and porridge-like when it is cooked.

This confection can also be made using nuts as a base. More crumbly in consistency, this variety is most often made by first grinding sesame seeds or sunflower seeds into a paste. Ground sesame, also known as tahini, is a common ingredient in many Persian dishes. Due to the fact that these seeds are so oily, the ground paste only needs to have a sugar syrup or honey added to it. No extra oil is necessary.

Different types of halva are found around the world. It is no longer just made in home kitchens with family recipes carried down from generation to generation. It can now be purchased in grocery stores and all kinds of candy stores.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By fify — On Nov 27, 2012

@literally45-- I don't think halva is easy. The trick for making good halva is roasting the semolina perfectly in butter. You have to keep mixing the semolina on low heat to roast it. If you stop mixing, it won't roast and if you increase the heat, it will burn. It's so delicate, it definitely takes practice!

My grandmother used to call halva "the dessert for the dead." In our culture, whenever someone dies, they make halva and offer it to those who come to the house for grievances. I have no idea where this tradition came from but that's what they do.

By literally45 — On Nov 26, 2012

@anon129367-- Halvah is really easy. All you have to do is cook some pine nuts in butter, followed by the semolina. Then, add sugar and milk and let it cook on low heat for ten to fifteen minutes.

This is the easiest dessert ever but it's so delicious. My mom makes this every year for Eid (Islamic holiday). Sometimes I have a craving for it and she makes it then too.

By burcidi — On Nov 25, 2012

There are many different kinds of halva dishes in the Middle East. There is also different varieties of halva made in Southeast Asia.

The one I'm most familiar with is the one made from tahini. They sell this at the Middle Eastern grocery and I'm hooked on it. I love the version with pistachios in it and I eat it straight up or with some plain bread. It's really high in calories though.

By anon129367 — On Nov 23, 2010

Where is the recipe for Halvah?

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.