Semsemeyah (sesame seeds bars)

Chewy sesame seeds bars are pretty and delicious crunchy treat for sesame lovers made with few ingredients.  They are common in many Mediterranean countries with a variety of names, Pasteli in Greece and Semsemeyah in Syria.

These sesame honey candy is a great gluten free snack that can be ready in less than 30 minutes.

It is so common in Syria during religious celebrations.

You can make it with almost any nut of your choice (pistachios, almonds, cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts or a combination of nuts), but sesame seeds is the original.

Sugar and honey are the main sweeteners here and make the glue to hold all the seeds together.

A little bit of water to help sugar dissolve in honey and the lime juice to help prevent crystallization.

Vanilla extract is optional.




▢1 1/2 cup sesame seeds

▢1/2 cup granulated sugar

▢1/2 cup honey

▢1/2 teaspoon lime juice

▢1 Tablespoon water

▢1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional

▢Sesame oil for brushing



Generously brush a bowl with sesame oil.

Brush parchment paper with sesame oil as well.

In a skillet over medium heat, add sesame seeds and toast until golden brown will take about 4-6 minutes.

Pour the sesame seeds immediately in the oiled bowl and set aside to cool down.

In saucepan over medium heat mix in sugar, honey, water, lime juice and vanilla if using.

Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 5minutes.

Pour the honey mixture over the sesame and mix well to combine.

Pour the mixture over the parchment paper. Wet your hands with water and shape the sesame mixture into a square with the thickness you prefer.

Let it cool completely then cut into bars.

Store in an air tight container at room temperature and separated by well-oiled parchment paper.


Lara Khouli