Mouled El Naby – the prophet’s birthday – is a happy occasion for Muslim families all over the world. People celebrate this joyous day in their own way, from religious celebrations to family gathering. Times change and traditions change, but the one thing you’ll always find at this time of year is ‘Halawet El Mouled’ – yummy pieces of candies in all shapes, nuts and sizes. Celebrations of the Mouled date back to the Fatimid’s era, where sugar dolls and traditional sweets were made every year to celebrate. Years and years later, and Egyptians still love and celebrate this special day with the same sweets.
Halawet El Mouled is usually made with huge amounts of sugar, glucose, lemon juice and water. They are usually very sweet and very sticky. This mixture is then added to the nuts to form the sweet and nutty bars we’ve come to know. The most popular sweets tend to be the roasted peanuts ‘fouleya’, sesame ‘semsemeya’ and chickpea bars. Another sweet that tends to be popular at this time is malban, which is made using water, sugar and starch and dusted with powdered sugar. There have been many new sweets and mixtures made each year, we, Egyptians love our sweet stuff!
The size of the sweets vary from as little as 0.025 grams/0.05 grams – it really all depends on how big or small they’ve been cut up and packaged. We estimate that each ‘average’ sized bar has around 200-300 calories. We can’t overlook the fact that the bases of these sweets are our fat-friendly nuts – but they’re covered with our not-so-friendly white sugar.
We’d never advise you to skip out on the celebrations though, after all, we all indulge every once in a while don’t we? But we do suggest that you go for one or two the bite sized Halawet Mouled so you don’t over indulge.
If you’re feeling extra healthy this Mouled, we have the perfect quick 3-ingredient recipe for a healthy halawet el mouled, or as close as it can get.
- 1 Cup Nut (of choice)
- 1/3 Cup Honey
- Sea Salt
- Preheat Oven to 180C degrees.
- Chop all the nuts.
- In a mixing bowl add the honey, nuts and a sprinkle of sea salt and mix until all the nuts are coated with honey.
- Place the mixture into cupcake trays, and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until the nuts start to take a brown color.
- Allow to cool in the fridge for 10 minutes before you can enjoy.