It's a particularly Jewish food memory, I think, because no one out here that I know has ever heard of halvah, at least not like it was in my memory.
I can't always have seeds or nuts, and honestly, I'm not sure how long to soak sesame seeds before the drying process. This batch was the experiment, but the chemistry works, at least. Also, I can't have syrups, sugars or honey, so, again, I went for ground dates.
This was the basic recipe, made in a monster blender. :)
3 cups lightly toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup sesame oil
7 medjool dates, pitted
1 tablespoon vanilla.
Reserve a handful of seeds for the top. Blend the toasted seeds and oil into tahini. It should be pretty liquid. If it's not, then add more oil. This also is a good base for lots of sauces and dressings. Add the dates and vanilla. Blend until it starts to caramelize - the blender should be strong enough to heat up the mixture and not explode. Spoon the mixture into a pan and spread well. Top with the rest of the seeds. Cover and refrigerate until solid. Slice and eat!
If you can't use your blender to heat the mixture you could try to heat the blended mixture in a pan or add some gelatin dissolved in boiling water before refrigerating.
My batch was a bit too caramelized (I was fully expecting to have to make a gelatin solution...it surprised me!), so I think next time I won't blend it as long. Dates, I'm guessing, get more of a burn-y taste than sugars or honey when heated, so I think it's necessary to keep it from heating too much.