Cooking recipes: Semolina halva with orange

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Semolina halva with orange flavor, a favorite dessert that creates delicious memories.

Writes Sissy Nika – Journalist of Taste and Culture

Delicious, cheap and an easy to prepare sweet of another era, but during the fasting period it is loved and welcomed by our friends. Served in many ways and embellished with flavors, nuts and spices we love. The story of halva is spread all over the continents. Its roots though, are found in Arabia, a fact that its name states without doubt, since halva means sweet.

Because I do not prefer the extra sweet tastes, I reduced the amount of sugar and I replaced one part water with orange juice. Try it and I am sure that you will like it.

The recipe is my grandmother’s, Christina Orfanoudaki.

Semolina halva with orange

Ingredients

2 ½ cups brown sugar

3 cups water

1 stick cinnamon

1 piece of orange peel

1 cup fine olive oil

1 cup coarse semolina

1 cup fine semolina

1 cup fresh orange juice

150 g. roasted peeled sliced almonds

 60 g. roasted pine nuts

1 shot Grand Marnier

1 tbsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp clove powder

Zest of half an orange –choose one with no wax

For finishing

1 stick of cinnamon

Dark chocolate sauce

Whole almonds

How to prepare

In a saucepan put water and when warm pour the sugar and mix for 3 minutes until it is dissolved.

Add the cinnamon stick and the peel and stir until the syrup becomes thick.

Alongside in a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the two types of semolina, stirring quickly with a wooden spoon until it is roasted and gets a nice cinnamon color. It will take 5-6 minutes. Towards the end add the cinnamon because if we pour it from the beginning the semolina darkens.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully slowly pour the hot syrup to the roasted semolina and stir gently.

Note: Caution because the hot semolina splatters.

Replace the pan with the halva over the heat and stir, add the orange juice, almonds, clove, orange zest, liqueur and pine nuts and continue stirring. Our halva is ready when it unsticks from the walls of the pot.

Pour the halva in a cake pan and allow it to cool well.

Remove from the cake pan and serve.

If we want we decorate with a cinnamon stick and sprinkle with cinnamon and add a little dark chocolate sauce as well.

Small secrets

If you want to roast almonds or pine nuts place in a shallow pan a baking sheet and spread the almond slices and bake in a well preheated oven for 5 minutes at 180 °C.

If we like our halva sweet then use 3 cups of regular sugar.

If we do not like halva with orange flavor then put 4 cups of water.

We can put raisins and walnuts.

For an even more uplifting flavor dip the raisins in liqueur or grappa.

If we want to give a “sesame flavor” use a little sesame oil respectively subtracting the quantity of olive oil.

From sugar paste I made small flowers and placed them beside the halva at the birthday of my friend Efi.