Halva - another evident recipe that food unites people world over. It also known ad Halava, helva, aluva, chalva, aluva just to name a few. A sweet that can be found in Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe, South Asia, Middle East and Israel just what I remember off the top of my head. Halva is a dense sweet with semolina flour and oil. Food is a bridge to people's hearts. The Greek version of Halva is also known as a 1:2:3:4 because you use one unit of oil, two units of semolina, three units of sugar and four units of water. It's such a super simple recipe to make and the taste is absolutely yummy! If you haven't tried this recipe, well let me tell you, you sure are missing out. Just as soon as I begin to toast the semolina the aroma has the family asking "Mom" What are you making? So, go ahead and give it a try today.
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 cups coarse semolina
- 3 cups sugar
- 4 cups water
- Lemon Rind
- Roasted Almonds or almond flakes
- 1 cinammon stick
- 1 tablespoon cinammon
In a pot we add the water, cinnamon sticks, lemon rind, and sugar, place on stove and turn the heat to medium allow to boil until sugar melts. When sugar melts turn heat to very low so it can remain warm. Remove cinnamon sticks and lemon rinds.
In another pot we add our oil and semolina, stir on medium heat until semolina has roasted (browned) make sure you do not burn it. Stir using a wooden spoon. It should be ready in about 10 minutes not more. Then, you add raisins, cloves almonds, walnuts, and cinnamon. Give a quick stir. I don't add any of these in the halva I just sprinkle the cinnamon when it is done and add roasted almond flakes on top as seen in the above picture. This is, of course, a matter of preference.
We take the pot off the stove and slowly we start adding the syrup while stirring with a wooden spoon. Be Careful, as the roasted semolina begins to splatter. Keep stirring until the halva has thickened and it doesn't stick to the pot. Empty the halva in a round or square container (depending on the shape you want)
When it has cool flip over on a tray, sprinkle with cinnamon and almond flakes. It's ready to serve!
NOTES: 1) In the halva I don't add anything. When I take it out of the container I sprinkle with cinnamon and roasted almond flakes. Some people also add walnuts on top. Besides raisins, you can also add dry cranberries. 2) If you would like instead of sugar you can use honey in your syrup. 3) Instead of Olive Oil you can use vegetable oil or sunflower oil. Olive oil makes it a bit heavy.