Halvah and Hummus Recipe

Ancient Egyptian Sweets

Matthew James- Student Article

Ground dates, honey, sesame seeds, and almonds is the oldest candy  in the world. Known as Halvah, Halawi, this same recipe is believed to be the oldest Egyptian recipe ever found.

Grind 2 cups of dates into a paste with a mortar and pestle, and mix them with just enough water to roll it into balls.

Add ½ cup or so of toasted sesame seeds, a teaspoon of cardamom and ½ cup of crushed nuts.

Roll the mixture by hand into small balls the size of a shooter marble, or about 1 inch in diameter.

Dip them in some honey, roll them in a light coating of cinnamon, and finally add in sliced and toasted almonds!


Hummus is a spread made from using chickpeas and sesame paste, often flavored with some garlic and lemon juice.

Immerse about 1 pound of chickpeas overnight in a large, covered pot or Dutch oven. Add water to just cover your chickpeas about 1 inch and bring to a boil. Simmer all day. Stir occasionally to keep the chickpeas from sticking or burning.

Drain water into a separate container to use as vegetable stock for your Bamya. Crush your chickpeas into a thick paste, adding a bulb of crushed garlic, a little lemon juice and a large pinch of salt. Keep refrigerated in a small container with a tight cover. Serve with pita points, which are pita bread cut into triangles, toasted in the oven.

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