Halvah toffee (Tabtab al-janna)

September 26, 2012  •  Category: ,


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). 



24 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

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



  2. DEVAKI says:

    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. Hannah says:

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

  4. familycook says:

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

  5. Belinda @zomppa says:

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

  6. Michelle says:

    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. Nadji says:

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

  8. Dana says:

    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. Christine @ Fresh says:

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

  10. MyLittleExpatKitchen says:

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

  11. Barbara says:

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

  12. Susan says:

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

  13. Alicia (foodycat) says:

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

  14. Oui, Chef says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

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

  17. Alice says:

    What sauce is it pictured with?

  18. Karine says:

    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?

  19. Stamatia says:

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

  20. Stamatia says:

    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.

  21. alam says:

    How solid should it be when cooled? I made a similar recipe and it is as hard as a brick 😀

    • Joumana says:

      @alam: anytime you work with sugar, the longer you cook the sugar or syrup the harder it gets. Mine was solid, but melted once inserted in my mouth 🙂 I am going to revise the directions to see if I can add more precisions. Definitely not an easy recipe but doable.

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