Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Semolina Halva

Searching through my pantry for forgotten ingredients, I stumbled across a container with semolina. Trying to think of what to do with it, I journeyed back through my childhood to my yia yias kitchen. One of my favourite desserts would have to be her semolina halva. She would use these cute little moulds with bumps and it would be the perfect solution to my sweet tooth. As I do not have her recipe I did a search and found one that seemed similar (although yia yia only uses sultanas in hers). I had to ommit a lot of the ingredients as I did not have them on hand, so this is not an entirely accurate review of the recipe.

Some Facts About SEMOLINA:
  • is the inner, granular, starchy endosperm of wheat (not yet ground into flour).
  • There are two main types of semolina. Durum semolina, made from hard wheat, is used to make pasta and couscous. Soft wheat semolina, also known as farina or by the trade name Cream of Wheat, is used as a hot breakfast cereal and for desserts such as semolina milk pudding.
Ease: 4.5/5. If you have everything out it takes no time at all. Grating and juicing the lemon and orange is the most time consuming.
Prep time: 7mins. 5 mins to do the fruits, and around 2 mins to get all the ingredients out.
Cooking Time: 11mins. 4 mins for the syrup, and 7 minutes for the semolina. I waited 5mins for the semolina to 'brown' - which it didn't do so I just added all of the syrup at once instead of a little at a time, so it did not take 10mins for it to congeal, only 2mins.
Total: 18mins. Really quick.

Taste: 4.5/5. It tasted a lot like yia yia's halva, but it was a lot more jelly-like, which may have been because I added the syrup all at once. I only had sultanas and pistachios on hand, next time I will add the pine nuts, but not the candied peel (don't like it). I didn't have cinnamon sticks so I sprinkled 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. I only used 1/2 teaspoon of rose water essence, as the one I have is strong. It still turned out lovely with the Orange and lemon flavour's being the most dominant; I served it with some double cream and Ryan gulped it down while it was still steaming. It made enough for around 6 decent servings.

Would I make again: Yes. If I still don't have yia yia's recipe then I will continue to use this one minus the candied peel. It's just so quick and easy.

Recipe here:


  1. lol... yes you need to brown the semolina.. I will get yiayias recipe for you and you can compare! x Helen

  2. Yeah...was sort of trying it out blind as I haven't cooked semolina before. Will make yia yia's one next - thanks for the recipe!