Pistachio Halvah Candy

Pistachio halvah

Marco Verch / Flickr / Creative Commons 2.0 

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
398 Calories
23g Fat
44g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 398
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 50mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Protein 9g
Calcium 161mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Halvah is the name of a number of different sweets from a variety of countries. There are two different types of halvah, a flour-based one and a nut-based one. This dessert can generally be stored at room temperature but if it's hot out storing it in the refrigerator will help it keep longer. This particular version is based on tahini or sesame seed paste. It also includes lots of pistachios, for crunch and flavor, and a hint of vanilla.


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 3/4 cups tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios (toasted)

Steps to Make It

  1. Prepare a loaf pan (8-by-4-inches or 9-by-5-inches) by lining it with cling wrap and spraying the cling wrap with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Place the sugar and the water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil and insert a candy thermometer. Continue to cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 250 F on the thermometer. Remove it from the heat.

  3. While the sugar syrup is cooking, pour the tahini into a large bowl and whisk it until it is a smooth, homogeneous texture without any clumps. Stir in the vanilla extract.

  4. Place the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks but are not crumbly.

  5. Gently fold the egg whites into the sesame paste. Once they are incorporated, slowly and gradually stream in the sugar, mixing well.

  6. Stir in the nuts until combined, then scrape the halvah into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.

  7. Cover the pan tightly with cling wrap, and allow the candy to set at least overnight. If you have the time, it is better to let it ripen for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator before eating.

  8. Once set, remove it from the pan and slice it into thin slices to serve.


  • Halvah will keep for several weeks (or longer) well-wrapped in the refrigerator.