Algerian Helouwa Ta'aba (Lemon or Sesame Cookies)

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 28 mins

Helouwa Ta'aba are very traditional, lovely simple cookies from Algeria. They should be quite hard, but if you prefer them a little softer then take them out of the oven at 20 minutes. There are 2 versions of this recipe, one flavoured with lemon & the other is plain but topped with sesame seeds. Both versions are below. This particluar recipe is our family recipe & is DH's all time favourite helouwa as it is not too sweet (so he can eat more lol!)

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs & the oil.
  2. Add the baking powder (& lemon zest if using), & slowly add the flour, mixing the ingredients with your hands until a dough forms. You will probably not need all of the flour.
  3. Once you have a firm dough, you can shape your helouwa.
  4. To shape, you have 2 choices: you can roll out to 5mm thickness & cut out with your favourite cookie cutters OR you can roll into a 1cm thick 'sausage' & make rings & straight lengths them decorate with a 'Nakkach' or fork if you don't have one. (See photos).
  5. If making the sesame version, once you have cut out all your cookies, brush a little beaten egg over the top of the cookies & sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
  6. Place on a tray lined with aluminium foil (shiny side up) & bake for 25-28 minutes. The cookies should be pale but hard when tapped. (Unless you want them soft on the inside, in which case you should take them out after 20 minutes).
  7. Allow to cool then store in an airtight container for upto 2 weeks.
Most Helpful

There was no temperature listed, so I used 350. I baked 20 minutes and the cookies were a little soft, just like the description said. I used orange zest instead of lemon zest, and it was delicious. The cookies are not overwhelmingly sweet and they allow the citrus flavor to come through nicely.

Da Huz June 02, 2011

My cookies didn't come looking as nice as yours, but they were tasty. Mine took on color as I guessed at the temperature to bake at.( I did 325 F) I wasn't sure how big around they were either. I will make again for sure.

macera44 February 16, 2010

Very easy and economical to make and they come out delicious have already made them 3 ti mes now its also a very easy and enjoyable recipe to make with children. Keep posting the Algerian recipes they are much appreciated, ma sha Allah.

safsaf12 October 31, 2012