St. Sarkis Day – Armenian Valentine’s Day?

Last February, Debbie Boyadjian wrote to The looking for a recipe for St. Sarkis Halva. After an exhaustive search, I was able to fulfill her request. St. Sarkis Day is one of those “moveable” celebrations on the Armenian Church calendar – this year falling on Saturday, February 19th. 

St. Sarkis

I received Zarmine (Zee) Sahakian’s St. Sarkis Halva recipe and photo of the final product to share with you.

Mrs. Sahakian’s St. Sarkis Halva

Zarmine “Zee” Sahakian’s Sourp Sarkis Halva recipe

3 C White granulated sugar
4 T Water
1 T Lemon juice
1 T Flower-water (orange blossom)
1 – 7oz. Jar of marshmallow creme
2 lb. Sesame seeds divided 1/3 and 2/3 (refrigerated)
Filling: walnuts or pistachios as needed.

Prepare a sheet pan with a mound of 2/3 of the sesame seeds.

Bring first four ingredients to a boil until the mixture turns to a golden color.

Mix in marshmallow, remove from heat and pour onto sesame seeds.Spread the mixture adding more of the cool sesame seeds as needed to keep from adhering to hands or spatula.

Invert the complete sheet of sesame covered mixture onto a flat work surface.

Moving quickly to prevent the sheet from getting hard, add filling (walnuts, pistachios, etc.) and roll. 
Cut 1.5 inches apart and refrigerate.

PS: I received an anonymous tip – Adding a hint of ginger will elevate the halva to another level.

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  1. Anonymous March 3, 2011 at 3:20 am

    Delicious with ginger what a wonderful tip. .big hit at our St.Sarkis celebration.

  2. Anonymous February 13, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I just made the recipe yesterday. My family loved it. The ginger really made it over the top. Can't wait for this weekend. I volunteered to bring the halva to our celebration. I am making more. Great tip thanks for sharing.

  3. Unknown February 17, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    The halva my Armenian grandmother used to make only used about 3 ingredients: butter, flour ans sugar. All fried on stove top and then poured on a plate to allow it to cool. Cut into diamonds and enjoy. Not good for you, but so good!


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