Halva is any of various dense, sweet confections with roots in the Middle East, Central Asia, India and Pakistan. It is also served in the Caucasus, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Balkans, Eastern and Western Europe, Malta and in the Jewish diaspora. In some Indian cultures, the dish is known as a soup-based sweet. Identical sweets exist in other countries, such as China, though these are not generally referred to as "halva". The first known, written halvah recipe appeared in the early 13th century Arabic Kitab al-Tabikh [The Book of Dishes].