I like simple food.
I love to work with flavors but I’m actually not particularly skilled technique-wise in the kitchen so I prepare things that can be done intuitively, rather than through science or precision. The way I cook is a lot like the way I live, to be honest.
And because I’m living in a yoga studio right now, and I don’t have an oven or any of my kitchen gadgets aside from my spice grinder (never leave home without it), my quest for ease and simplicity has reached new heights.
I was craving something sweet, fatty, and slightly decadent the other day. I wanted cookie dough, actually. I’m far from home and my baking cupboard is pretty much a distant memory at this point, so I don’t have on hand any of the ingredients that go into cookie dough.
But I get real resourceful, real fast when my sweet tooth kicks in. It’s my superpower.
So magically in that moment my brain recalled that halvah is a thing. A thing with almost a cookie dough-like consistency. A thing ever so minimal; made almost exclusively out of sesame seeds, one of the few things I did have that day, left over from an attempt to make a thimble-sized batch of hummus in my grinder earlier in the week.
I dashed to the kitchen and whipped these up. And I’ve been making them every few days since.
Halvah Bites with Cinnamon & Fresh Coconut
1 cup or so of raw white sesame seeds
5 tsps of honey
1 pinch of salt
2-3 pinches of cinnamon (freshly ground, please!)
Shredded coconut (preferably fresh, but the dried kind you buy in the store would do just fine if shucking a coconut doesn’t feel do-able for you in this moment)
Grind up the sesame seeds, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of your grinding apparatus whether it be a grinder, bullet, or food processor. Make sure to grind as fine as you can, with as few seeds as possible left.
Dump the meal out into a bowl that’s big enough to put your hands in.
Add 3 of the 5 tsps of honey, salt, and cinnamon.
Mix everything together with your hands to create a dough. Keep kneading until it’s properly smooth and all ingredients are incorporated.
Break off pieces in whatever size you want your bites to be. 1 cup of sesame seeds made about 10 bites, for me. Knead each piece one at a time, rolling it in your palms, until it becomes a smooth marble-like ball.
At this point, you can leave the bites as-is. They make a delicious and less-decadent protein bite this way. Perhaps slightly less tempting than the fully realized form with the coconut.
If you have coconut, and you want something more decadent, put the remaining 2 teaspoons of honey on a plate.
One at a time, roll each ball in the honey, using your finger to spread it around to cover the surface of each ball with a thin layer.
Place your shredded coconut in
a bowl and roll each honey-coated bite in the coconut so that it is fully dressed.
Do this for all of them.
You can eat these guys right away and I definitely challenge you to try not to. But, they’re actually a lot better when they’ve sat in the refrigerator (just stick them on a plate, uncovered) for a bit.