@jesswhoamamma has generously shared with us her Semolina Halva – a spiced semolina halva, generously dotted with chopped walnuts. It’s vegan friendly and easy to prepare!
Take it away Jess…
“This recipe is inspired by two of my absolute favourite and inspiring kitchen mentors: my late Yiayia Maritsa and the beautiful Kathy Tsaples. My late Yiayia Maritsa used to make Halva, but I wasn’t able to learn her recipe before she passed.
My Yiayia Maritsa gave me a collection of her handwritten recipes and magazine clippings from Greek magazines of her favourite recipes, all lovingly bound in a folder, before she passed away and it’s one of my most prized possessions!
I found her handwritten recipe for Halva but it was unfinished. It notes butter, olive oil and semolina, but there is no mention of spices or nuts. When Kathy released her first cookbook ‘Sweet Greek’, I tried her Halva recipe and it was magic! It tasted just like Yiayia’s! Over time I’ve modified it to be vegan friendly by using only olive oil (Yiayia used a combination of butter and olive oil. Kathy’s recipe uses butter and grapeseed oil). I also use less sugar in the syrup.
I hope you make my Halva and enjoy it as much as my friends and family do!
Foodie Fact: Most Halva recipes are based on the 4,3,2,1 principle – a principle used by Greek cooks to learn and remember the recipe!
Jess’ Greek Semolina Halva Pudding with Walnuts Recipe
For the syrup
- 4 cups water
- 2½ cups sugar
- 2 cinnamon quills
- 10 cloves
For the Semolina Halva
- 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil ((EVOO) )
- 2 cups fine semolina
- 1½ cups walnuts, chopped coarsely ((more if you prefer))
Preparing the syrup
· Combine the syrup ingredients
· Bring to a boil and boil gentlyfor 10-12 minutes for flavours to infuse
· Remove cinnamon and cloves fromsyrup
Transfer syrup to a pouring vessel
Preparing the Semolina Halva
Heat EVOO on medium in a medium- large pot
Once hot, add the semolina and walnuts and combine well
Continue stirring and cooking until the semolina toasts to a golden-brown colour – approximately 10 minutes
Remove pot off heat
Slowly add the syrup – taking care as it might splatter
Return the pot to medium heat and stir… and stir… and stir till the halva thickens and easily comes away from the pot edges
Spoon the halva into a small-medium fluted cake tin
Press down to compress the filling and flatten the top
Leave to cool for at least 2 hours
Serving the Semolina Halva
Turn the halva onto a serving dish, slice and enjoy!!!!!