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Helba (Fenugreek sweet) (My version)

This traditional Palestinian sweet, is also prepared for mummies after delivery (same as caraway pudding), and it’s so good any time of the year. If you know Basboosa (check Basboosa recipe), you’ll see that recipe is little similar, a dough made of semolina flour (smeed) and all purpose flour, with some Fenugreek seeds and flavoured with cinnamon and anise, then sweetened with sugar syrup when it’s hot just out of the oven. This sweet is one of my favourites really, great with a cup of tea or coffee any time of the day.
This is my version, hope you like it.


  • 2 tbsp fenugreek seeds

  • 3 cups semolina flour (smeed)

  • 1½ cup flour

  • 1 tbsp anise (powder or crushed seeds)

  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder

  • ½ cup sugar

  • ½ cup coconut flakes

  • 4 tsp baking powder

  • ¼ cup oil

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 ½ tsp yeast+ 1 tsp sugar+ ½ cup warm water (37degree warm); mix, cover and set aside to froth

  • Sugar syrup (2 cups sugar+1 cup hot water+ 1 tsp lemon juice+ 1 cinnamon stick)


  • 1.

    Wash fenugreek seed, put in sauce pan, add 1 cup hot water and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce and simmer for 10minte.

  • 2.

    Prepare the yeast mixture (as mentioned in ingredients list).

  • 3.

    Meanwhile, mix semolina flour, all purpose flour, sugar, coconut flakes, baking powder, cinnamon, and anise.

  • 4.

    Add oil and olive oil to the flours mixture. Mix well to combine by rubbing the mixture with your hands.

  • 5.

    Add yeast mixture. Important point to make sure the water you’re mixing the yeast with is NOT hot, just warm.

  • 6.

    Drain fenugreek seeds. DON’T throw the water away. Add the seeds to the flours mixture and mix then add some of the reserved water to the dough and work it out till it’s not dry and not very sticky.

  • 7.

    Transfer dough to a greased round 15inch baking tray. Press to fill the tray. Level with palm of your hand. Cut into diamond shaped pieces. Cover and leave to rest in warm place for at least 1 hour.

  • 8.

    Meanwhile, prepare sugar syrup by mixing ingredients together. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10minutes. Set aside to cool.

  • 9.

    Bake Helba in medium 400F (200C) preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or till golden.

  • 10.

    Take out of the oven and pour syrup all over, and leave aside to absorb all syrup. Cut and serve.

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Posted by Report
yuck mokases yah sit hudda make somthing better
Posted by Report
that is not nice!!!!
Posted by Huda Abu HamdiaReport
Hi A.Suleiman..I asked a friend about the sweet you're asking about; "EssHaa", if you can send me you mail so i can e-mail it to you me on:
Posted by Huda Abu HamdiaReport
Hi A.Suleiman.. Thank you passing by my page :-) ..
Regarding the recipe ur asking about, it must be the black sesame or what's called habbet el barakeh.. I never had it, but I can ask my friend's mother if she knows it, and if so, I'll send it to you ..
Could you send me your mail??
Thanks again ;-)
Posted by Linda304Report
thank you this is one of my fav sweets. i tried it and i think i undercooked it because it was to fat should i usa a bigger pan to thin it out? do u have a recipe for kulaj thanx hun and kul sani winti salma yarub!!!
Posted by Huda Abu HamdiaReport
Hi dear .. so sorry for the late reply!
as for the under cooking,I guess a bigger baking tray will do the trick, or try to bake it for little longer time!
The kulaj recipe which you are asking about, u mean like: kulaj bel jebneh and kulaj bel jooz??
Hope you can see my comment and will be checking to see your answer dear ..
Thanks allot dear :-)
Posted by Huda Abu HamdiaReport
Thank u my dear Sherlin .. It's really a healthy nice way to have Fenugreek and its benifits.. this is one of my favorites traditional desserts actually .. I have to have it whereever I go :-D
Hope u try it and like it :-)
Posted by Huda Abu HamdiaReport
Alf sa77a o hana my dear :-) .. many recipes are there, each have their own, and some use flour, some use simolina, some use olive oil, some use corn oil....ect..
My friend's mom make it waaaw.. i make it the same way, but it doesn't taste the same!!! so i reach my own recipe, and u can make the changes u like :-)
let me know how it turns out next time without the flour ;-)
sa7tain o hana again :-)
Posted by Huda Abu HamdiaReport
thank you dear soooo much .. i'm really glad to hear so :-)
Posted by Huda Abu HamdiaReport
mmm.. I'm not so good in calories matter!! :-S .. but i think if you have a table for calories of food substances, u can calculate for the whole portion, and then it depends on how many pcs ur cutting it, u can know each pc how many calories are in...
Hope u try it and like it :-)
Thnak you sooo much ...