Halvah toffee (Tabtab al-janna)

If you are a fan of halvah, you will like this candy. While halvah is nearly impossible to make in a home kitchen, this is not. Only three ingredients required: Sugar, tahini and flour. Flavored with cardamom. 


  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of tahini +extra to grease the pan
  • 1/2 tsp of cardamom 
  • 1/3 cup of water
  1. Melt the sugar and water  in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbly and  light golden in color. Add the flour and mix to combine well. Add the cardamom and add the tahini. Mix vigorously until it becomes very thick; test it by dropping a tiny amount on a greased surface; it should get firm within seconds; 
  2. Grease a rectangular  pan with tahini; pour the toffee  all over the bottom of the pan. 
  3. Let the candy cool, then cut into individual pieces freestyle if desired or with a knife.
NOTE: A pan 9X13 or smaller would be adequate for this recipe.
This recipe was inspired by Anahid’s Helwayate Anaheed al-shaheyya; however, I changed the recipe since the original one did not work with me; (she did not use any water). 

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  1. Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Mmmmhhh, a wonderful treat! To-die-for.



  2. Posted September 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Are you kidding Joumana! I probably have halva engraved in my DNA! A little different with the tahini but otherwise a classic especially with all that lovely cardamom :)

    chow :) Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  3. Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Ohhh, I adore halvah and toffee both! Would never have guessed that flour would be involved. Scrumptious!

  4. Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    This looks delish. I love the halvah and it is something I look forward to buying from the Arabic grocery store.

  5. Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE toffee…so this is definitely up my ally!

  6. Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful way to use tahini! I have some and need to use it more. :) I love toffee. Would it be good with some nuts, maybe pistachios or pine nuts?

  7. Posted September 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Encore une belle découverte. Une friandise que je ne connais pas du tout.
    Je note.
    A bientôt

  8. Posted September 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    I am going to make this as soon as I get home. Recipe is printed and ready, and I have all of the ingredients! Thanks Joumana!

  9. Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    This is an intriguing candy. I love the flavor of cardamon in desserts, so this must be spectacular.

  10. Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    I’m a fan of halva! This looks amazing, Joumana. Can’t wait to give it a try.

  11. Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Love the idea of using tahini in this candy, Joumana. Easy to make too!

  12. Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Tahini-flavored toffee sounds wonderful! What a wonderful idea, Jourmana.

  13. Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    This recipe is fascinating! I love halvah, but this sounds even better.

  14. Posted September 30, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I’ve never tried Halva, but I love all the flavors involved in this dish, I MUST try it soon as I’m always looking for new coffee time treats.

  15. Kathe
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I will definitely try this. It will be a welcome respite from trying to make halvah. I have tried a number of different recipes and just can get the crumbly crack of the good stuff. May I ask why it seems impossible to make it at home?

  16. Kathe
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    sorry – I CANNOT get the right texture (typo in my previous post)

  17. Alice
    Posted October 1, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    What sauce is it pictured with?

  18. Joumana
    Posted October 1, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    @Alice: there is no sauce with this; it is just a simple toffee, flavored with tahini and cardamom.

  19. Posted October 8, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I would love to try this recipe. Looks delicious. I used to love halwa as a child. Now due to calories I only look at the box. Hehehe
    One question though, can I substitute the cardamom? I am not a big fan of it in sweets and my kids don’t like it taste when I add it to recipes. What would you suggest?

  20. Joumana
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    @Karine: you can just leave it plain! Or add cinnamon if you like.

  21. Stamatia
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to go try this with demarara sugar…hopefully I have enough tahini left!

  22. Stamatia
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    It worked! …I think. It’s still a bit chewy, but definitely yummy! I think sprinkling it with sesame seeds would be a nice garnish.

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