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How to Make Sunflower Halva

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 21, 2017

Halva is a sweet dessert originating in the Middle East. Although many variations of halva exist, the standard ingredients include honey, tahini and assorted nuts or seeds that you combine and cook into a chewy candy confection. Tahini is a paste made of sesame seeds. Create this recipe with sunflower seeds you grow yourself or purchase from the grocery store. Use candy-making techniques and allow the halva to set before serving. Halva has nutritious ingredients that make it a beneficial food, yet it is a satisfying sweet dessert.

Measure and pour the sesame seeds and sunflower seeds into the frying pan. Place the frying pan onto a burner and set the burner to medium-high. Stir and toast the seeds for approximately 3 minutes until they are golden-brown. Remove the frying pan from the heat.

Stir the tahini into the toasted seeds. The tahini combined with the seeds will make a very thick paste. Mix the ingredients thoroughly until the seeds are incorporated throughout the tahini.

Measure and pour the honey, brown sugar and lemon juice into the saucepan. Place the saucepan onto the burner and set the heat to medium-high.

Insert the thermometer probe into the saucepan and stir as the ingredients cook. Continue to stir and cook these ingredients until the thermometer reaches 240 degrees F. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Stir the tahini mixture into the honey mixture. Mix the ingredients with a spoon until they are fully incorporated. The consistency will be thick, yet still thin enough to pour. Make sure the ingredients are smooth and the color is a golden brown.

Prepare the baking pan by lining it with parchment paper.

Pour the hot mixture into the baking pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate the halva for at least 8 hours.

Invert the baking pan onto a cutting board. Cut the halva into small squares.

Store the halva in a covered plastic container in the refrigerator. The sunflower halva will stay fresh for one month in the refrigerator.


Things You Will Need

  • 1/3 cup white sesame seeds
  • 1 cup hulled sunflower seeds
  • ¾ cup tahini
  • 1 cup each honey and brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Frying pan
  • 2-quart saucepan
  • Instant-read thermometer (with probe)
  • 8-inch square baking dish
  • Parchment paper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Covered plastic container

About the Author


Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.