Sunday, March 29, 2009

Halvas(Semolina Cake)

This is a very traditional Greek and Cypriot cake. There are a lot of different versions of Halvas, some bake it in the oven, some use raisins instead of almonds, some prefer to mix olive oil and sunflower oil....This is the saucepan version, with almonds. It is a very popular cake especially during fasting period.


  • 2 1/4 cups of sugar
  • 3 cups of semolina
  • 5 3/4 cups of warm water
  • 5 tbsp of rosewater
  • 1/2 cup of almond nuts (skinless and cut in small pieces)
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower oil


Put sugar and warm water in a small saucepan and stir well until dissolved. Remove from heat and add rosewater. In another saucepan (preferable with a non sticky bottom), put oil and almonds and fry until they become slightly brown in color. Add semolina and mix continuously for one minute, while on heat. Then remove from heat, add syrup (the water, sugar and rosewater mixture), mix and put on heat. Stir well with a wooden spoon until it becomes thick. Remove from heat and put in a Pyrex. Take a wet wooden spoon and flaten the top of the cake until it looks really shiny! Enjoy!


london follower said...

My absolute favourite! I'm on my way to the supermarket to get the ingredients already! thanks-great post!

london follower said...

My dearest saint,
I tried to do the cake this afternoon in half doses and, to my horror,I ended up with a mashy, sticky, non-setting mixture!!!!
Must have gotten the quantities wrong-plus I suspect the fact I've been lazy and put the semolina mix straight into the syrup (as opposed to adding the syrup to the semolina bit by bit) had something to do with it...
Still, it tasted devine, albeit in spoonfulls! Next time lucky I guess.....!!!!

olivetreegirl said...

I used to make this when I was younger but I had forgotten how!!! Thanks for reminding me the recipe, it's one of my favorites!!!