Indy Power: A slice of perfection pistachio
Have yourself a sweet slice of halva, a nutty treat from the Middle East that's easy to make at home.
I first had halva in Chelsea Market in New York. The second that I saw it, I knew I would love it - sweet tahini goodness with added nuts or chocolate... how could I not? It's the most simple treat and, in my opinion, pretty impossible to beat.
Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan & paleo
270g light tahini
125ml maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/gas mark 4.When it's hot, add the pistachios to a roasting tray and roast for about 8 minutes until they are golden.
Add the maple syrup to a medium saucepan on high heat. Bring it to a boil and let it bubble vigorously for 2-3 minutes.
Remove it from the heat and whisk in the tahini until smooth and stiff.
Roughly chop the pistachios and stir them into the mixture.
Line a small baking tin with parchment paper and spread the mixture out evenly.
Pop it in the freezer for about 3 hours to set. Then chop and serve.
WHY HALVA IS HEAVENLY
Halva is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert that’s made two ways, either flour-based or nut butter-based. Typically, the nut butter used is a sesame paste, like in my recipe, which gives a kind of dry, crumbly, fudge-type texture and an amazing flavour. Pistachio is a classic addition, as are other nuts or chocolate. I love it on its own but it’s a great addition to other desserts too — try flaking some over a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or crumble it into brownie batter before baking. If you’re feeling a little lazier, simply have some with a good cup of coffee.