Halvas is one of those Greek desserts that, in my humble opinion, is overlooked. Yes, it's not loaded with chocolate, cream or other decadent ingredients. It's simplicity is what draws me to love it more! Now, that said, my halvas is far from "simple"...... Other than being simple to prepare, it's loaded with so many lovely flavors like, cranberries, raisins, orange, cinnamon, just a hint of cardamom and nuts. Absolutely delicious!
Go ahead and give it a try! You can definitely substitute any of the dried fruit and nuts with your favorites. I've used pistachios (the salted variety are super delicious in sweet dishes), pine nuts, hazelnuts, raisins, dates, figs..... Have fun with it! I especially love serving this during the winter holiday season. It just makes me feel warm and fuzzy :)
Here's what you will need to make this at home:
For the syrup:
3 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
juice of one orange (zest it first and save the zest for the pudding)
For the Pudding:
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ground almonds and walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup cranberries
zest of one orange
2 cardamom pods
1/4 teaspoon salt
Begin by making the syrup. Combine all of the ingredients (syrup ingredients) in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes until the sugar is melted. Remove the spices and discard. Remove from the heat and set aside while preparing the pudding.
Heat the oil and add the semolina, salt and cardamom seeds. Keep stirring it until it develops a golden color. This will toast the semolina and give it a delicious flavor. Be very careful not to burn it! Keep stirring and cook it over medium heat.
Add the nuts and dried fruit and toast just a bit more.
Pour the syrup into the pudding. Be very careful because it will boil VIGOROUSLY and will release LOTS of hot steam!!! Keep stirring.
Stir it until it absorbs the syrup and it is still soft. It will thicken as it cools, so do not cook it too much otherwise it will harden.
Add the zest and mix well.
You can spoon the halva into a mold and allow to cool. It will hold it's shape and look beautiful when unmolded. I prefer to serve this in beautiful glass bowls. However you decide to serve this, Enjoy and eat it in good health!
Hi, I'm Dimitra and welcome to my blog! Here, I'll teach you just how much fun and easy it is to please a crowd with my versions of Greek classics. Kali Orexi as we say in Greek!