Halva is a traditional Middle Eastern confectionery made from flour, sugar, water, nuts and with or without oil / fat. As with many desserts from this region, it has an old history and now many modern versions of the treat, depending on local ingredients and customs where it is made.
Halva comes from the Arabic word for 'sweetmeat' and is also known as halwa, halva, halava or helva and this dessert name now refers to a range of desserts made to the traditional recipe, however that are usually made with sesame tahini instead of nuts. It is very common in India, Central and West Asia, North Africa, the Balkans and Israel made to suit local ingredients.
Modern day Halva has been taken to the next level by adding fruit, poppy seeds, pistachios and other nuts, rose petals and other blossoms for gourmet styling and even coffee and of course chocolate!.
If you have never made it before, try this traditional Halva Recipe from a blog post that shares a little bit of the excitement of trying it for the first time in an open market in Jerusalem. Then try this Salted Chocolate Halva recipe. For the adventurous, try making some Halva Truffles - yes a slightly healthier chocolate truffle option for you!
Want to cut to the chase and get some Middle Eastern inspired Chocolates, then order yourself a Turkish Bazaar tasting box.