Halawet El-Jibn: A Delectable Arabic Dessert

The financial year-end in Iraq is on 31 Dec every year and so it was a busy weekend and the year-end too. Things went off well and books are closed for 2022 and checked by the Finance department on 01 Jan 2023. After their confirmation, one of my colleagues, Ali Abdul Salam, and I decided to go for some quick grubs followed by some nice desserts. The New Year has to start with some sweets for round-the-year sweet experiences. 😉

We had a shawarma wrap and then decided to go to 90-YO Al Halawany Sweets at Al-Mansour in Baghdad for delicious cheese desserts. We opted for Kunafeh and Halawet el-jibn. I have not tried Halawet el-jibn before. Halawet el-jibn translates to cheese dessert. This is like a sweet cheese roll. I had eaten kunafeh before also.

Halawet el-jibn is made from rolls of soft, sweet semolina and cheese dough that gets stuffed with clotted cream and crowned with pistachios. A drizzle of syrup puts the final seal of perfection.

We enjoyed our first desserts of 2023 along with coffee.

The origin of halawat el-jibn dish is not clear. Some recipes for this dessert give credit to Homs in Syria as its birthplace. Others point to northern Lebanon. Food history aside, many sweet/baklava shops might carry halawat el-jibn, but they don’t generally display it alongside the ostentatious trays filled with syrupy baklava. So, when you next visit a baklava store, make sure you point to the fridge and ask the guys to bring the angels out.

It’s really delicious!

14 thoughts on “Halawet El-Jibn: A Delectable Arabic Dessert

  1. Nilanjana Moitra

    Sweet way to commence the New Year. Wish you a happy and sweet 2023. The cheese rolls seems yummy and the presentation is excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are various types of desserts in the Arab world but definitely not as varied as in India. India is the most diverse country with different food in different states forget the different languages, customs, and traditions. We have so many various types of Biryanis in India. India is a peculiar country and of its own… unique.


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