Monday 7 November 2016

Semolina halva (χαλβάς)


This dessert has to be one of my favourites of Greek cuisine. It’s one of my favourities because it’s not “over the top” sweet, as many Greek desserts can be.

street market of Chania (Crete)

In Greece and Cyprus, the term halvas (χαλβάς) is used for both varieties of the dessert. Sesame halva was produced in classical times. The standard recipe for semolina halva is referred to as "1:2:3:4", as it calls for one unit of oil, two of semolina, three of sugar and four of water.
Chania (Crete)

Little Shrines on the Road in Crete Island


175g butter
225g semolina 
100g almonds 
1 litre milk
300g sugar 
1teaspoon ground cinnamon


Heat the butter in a wide-based pan. Add the semolina and almonds and stir-fry them over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until both the nuts and the semolina are golden. Remove the pan from the heat.

In a second pan, heat the milk and sugar, then pour the milk over the hot semolina and almonds, taking care as the mixture may split. Return the pan to the heat and simmer over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring until the mixture is thick and firm.

Rinse out a small, square baking tin with cold water. Pour the halva mixture into the wet tin and smooth the surface with a spoon dipped in water. Allow the halva to cool, then leave it to chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Carefully turn the halva out on to a serving dish.

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