Mysterious ingredient in the Lebanese pastry kitchen

April 21, 2012  •  Category:


Anybody care to guess what this is? And what it is used for?


31 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Dana says:

    Is it chicory root?

  2. ado says:

    this HALAWA ROOTS&it is used to make the HALAWA CANDIE .

  3. Mary S. says:

    Licorice root?

  4. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Looks like something my dad would have. Definitely a root or bark of some sort. To make tea?

  5. Diane Conti says:


  6. Betty says:

    Looks like bois de panama for Nattiffe Cream

  7. Sarah says:

    Not sure at all. Looks a bit like Glycyrrhiza glabra, licorice root although the kind at the souk are pencil size.

  8. Velva says:

    It is a flavorful root of sorts….obviously, it adds wonderful flavor.


  9. Verkin says:

    Licorice root, final answer :))

  10. Arlette says:

    shilsh Al Halawa…
    good for you Joumana

  11. Theresa says:

    I think it’s called “soap root”, used to season Halawa. Mahleb comes from the St Lucia Cherry.

  12. Halim says:

    It looks like the bark to a grapevine. Yes?

  13. deana says:

    Not a clue but would love to know!!!

  14. Silvia says:

    I think it’s Shirsh halawa root used to make Natif thatyou eat with karabish

  15. Silvia says:

    Now that you are in Lebanon can you try to find for me the recipe of chocolat mou? it seems that they know it only in Lebanon. I dream a chocolat mou from 1969 . Thank you for your beautiful recipes and the sweet “souvenirs” that emerge in my mind when i read you.

    • Joumana says:

      @Silvia: I remember chocolat mou too; in my recollection, it was like a sundae topped with chocolate sauce and a wafer cookie (like a crêpe dentelle from Brittany); tell me how you remember it, if my recollection does not coincide, I am sure I can get more info from my elederly aunties!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Chocolat Mou is basically few scoops of chocolate ice-cream, topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Some places substitute chocolate milkshake for the chocolate ice-cream.

  17. Jeannie says:

    Mmm…I am curious, looking forward to the answer and see what you can use it for:)

  18. Georgia says:

    Is this mistick

  19. Jomana says:

    I believe that this is soap root bark and is used in making Natif for Karabij Halab

  20. bergamot says:

    Never seen it before so curious to know what it is 🙂

  21. Hagar the Horrible says:

    Overly dried horseradish???

  22. ahmad chatila says:

    they are used to make carabeej

  23. george says:

    i think it is SHELSH AL ZALOU3 🙂

  24. r says:

    It’s Soaproot used to make Natef.

  25. berdougo says:

    there is many name of that ;Shirsh el-Halaweh, racine de saponaire(in french),soapwort or soaproot used to do nateff and turkish halva

  26. Sam says:

    It is shirsh-elhalaweh, but how do you use it? any recipes for it?

    • Joumana Accad says:

      @Sam: I have a recipe in the blog for natef, which is the original whipping cream dating back 10 centuries! it has no cream whatsoever, just the broth from the shirsh and also some syrup and flavoring

  27. Eugenie says:

    Where to buy it? Can I find it in California?

  28. Antoine says:

    Hi, where do you buy halawa roots in Australia. Who usually sells it

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