Sesame Halva Balls

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IMG_3772In Greece, we love our Halvah but the definition can be a little confusing, as there are a few different varieties. One kind of halva is made from semolina and it’s often made into a dessert with nuts and fruit.

The next halva is made of caramelized sugar, butter and corn starch and it’s a specialty from Farsala, central Greece – known as Halva Farsalon. It is often served at Panagyria (festivals) in Greece.

Wait, there’s more – today’s main ingredient – Macedonian Halva. This treat is made by pulverizing sesame seeds and adding honey and often some kind of nut (almond, hazelnut or pistachio). It can also come in vanilla or chocolate flavour and it is bought in round containers or in brick form.

Macedonian Halvah is available at Greek specialty shops and similar middle eastern and Turkish stores. It’s a delicious healthy treat and it is consumed alot during Lent (lack of dessert options).

Today, I’m sharing a neat little way to stretch this ingredient and morph into something new that both adults and kids can enjoy. It’s quick, easy and Halva is easily found.IMG_3781

Halva Balls

1 cup of Macedonian Halva with almonds (or add 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds)

1/3 cup of unsalted butter

1 tsp. of lemon zest


sesame seeds

shredded coconut

ground pistachios

cocoa powder

  1. Place the halva, butter and lemon zest in a food processor and process until amalgamated. Empty into a bowl, cover and place in the fridge for an hour.
  2. Take out of the fridge and use your fingers to pinch a piece of the mixture and roll into a ball in the palm of your hands. Repeat with remaining mixture.
  3. Roll the balls in your choice of coatings (or all for an array) and place on a platter.
  4. Serve as a snack or dessert with a Skinos mastiha liqueur on the rocks.

© 2014,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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