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What is Halwah?

Just got back from the Asian markets and saw soething new. Halwah. What is it and what is it used for? I'm curious because they also had a pistachio halwah and I love anything with pistachios.

Is this something I could eat for an afternoon snack? Always looking for new ideas.


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  1. It's Halva - israeli nougat-like sweet/candy.

    1. I've also seen recipes for halva or halwa in Indian cookbooks. It seems to be a very sweet candy or dessert with milk in it, cooked down to make a kind of paste. I don't think it's related to the Middle Eastern halva which is usually made with sesame seeds and sugar.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cheryl_h

        My mother (indian) makes this. It bears no relation to the middle eastern version. It's mostly ground almonds, sugar and milk cooked into a thick, smooth porridge consistency. Restaurants often make it badly: too dry and flavorless. It's perfect in the morning with chai (Indian, not that Oregon swill).

      2. Halwah is the Lebanese version of Halva. It's a sesame candy. My favorite is Pistachio. It's a snack item, and it's addicting.

        1. I think wikipedia's right on this one,


          There are two versions - I prefer the semolina based one, but they're both pretty tasty!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jeda

            Good information. I never knew there was another version. I'll have to track some down and give it a try. Thanks for the insight.

          2. My (Greek) friend's mom makes it - it's pretty dense and sweet and comforting to eat - slices nicely, like a very firmly packed polenta... I think more perishable than the sesame-based one.

            1. Hated it as a kid, now I really like the pistachio. The middle eastern sesame-based is very fattening, a little goes a long way...

              Usually spelled halvah.

              1. i have a recipe, kind of americanized tho, for gajar halwah, its kind of a carrot nut dessert, and i haven't tried it yet but it looks great, i can post the recipe if anyone wants

                1. I really liked the Isreali kind as a kid. Now, as an adult, it just seems too rich...very sweet, very buttery tasting. More of a once-in-a-long-while treat than a regular afternoon snack.