Traditional Semolina Halva with Almonds

Traditional Semolina Halva with Almonds

“To share….”

This is one of these hand-me down recipes- a friend gives to a friend and somehow it makes it to you because it is that good- everyone making his or her own tweaks along the way….

Sandra Choremi_halva
In Sanskrit “halva” means “mixture.” It represents the wide, Turkish dessert category of helvas that encompasses an array of semolina confections.
These are defined by their texture and sweetness — dense and highly sugary — based on Eastern nuts and grain flours.
Traditional Semolina Halva with Almonds
Traditional Semolina Halva with Almonds

Traditional Semolina Halva with Almonds

Ingredients

3 cups sugar

4 cups water

1 lemon, thick slice of rind

1-2 cinnamon sticks

¾ cup olive oil

500 g thick semolina

1 cup whole almonds, blanched and roughly chopped

ground cinnamon for dusting

Method

1. For the syrup: Dissolve the sugar in the water with the slice of lemon rind and the cinnamon stick. Bring it to a slow simmer. Boil it for 5 minutes, then remove it from the heat, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a non-stick, deep pan, heat the olive oil and “brown” the semolina on a medium-high heat. Stir continuously, about 10 to15 minutes. During the last 3 minutes add the almonds to toast them slightly.

3. When the semolina has a golden brown colour, add the warm syrup (Note: Take care not to burn your hands, as the semolina bubbles and steams excessively). Reduce the heat to low and keep stirring until the mixture is very thick — it will have the consistency of a paste. When it pulls away from the sides of the pan as you stir, it is cooked. Removed from the heat.

4. Spoon the semolina into a lightly greased bundt pan or a loaf pan, and press with a spoon. Set aside and let cool. After it has cooled, carefully turn the semolina halva over onto a serving dish and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. It can keep for a few days at room temperature covered with a mesh screen food cover. (Do not place the halva in the fridge as it sweats.)

Serves 8 to 10

 

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