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An Egyptian Dessert Named "Sweetness"

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In English, "halawa" is usually written "halva," although the origin of the word is the Arabic "halawa," meaning sweetness.

Photo by Jonathan Gregson

There are several types of halawa eaten throughout the world, mainly in the Middle East and Africa, but the main type of halawa we use in Egypt is the "halawa tahineya,"which is made from a paste of ground sesame seeds.


These truffles are small bite-size sweets to serve alongside coffee or tea after a meal. They are very sweet, so one or two per person would probably do the job.

This recipe comes from my book Cairo Kitchen (Hardie Grant, 2015).

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Halawa Truffles

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar Suzanne Zeidy
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Makes 20 to 24
  • 200 grams halawa (also spelled halva)
  • 40 grams halawa spread (also spelled halva)
  • 100 grams sesame seeds
  • 100 grams cocoa
  • 100 grams pistachios, finely chopped
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Do you have a favorite Middle Eastern cookie? How about one that uses sesame seeds? Tell us in the comments below!

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Tags: cookies, cookie map, cookie world map, truffle, halva, halvah, egyptian