Posted by: Rachael | May 27, 2008

sweet, sticky, smooth…..


Noone seems to like it. Noone that I know anyway. Not even Grandpa.

In spite of that we decided to make it last week…..just a couple of tablespoons of semolina, a pinch of sugar and a few cups of milk. While the casserole was cooking in the oven, the dessert did its thing.

How could something so simple taste so good? We really enjoyed it. It was smooth and creamy and just yum. Grandpa couldn’t be convinced to try it, despite the children’s excitement, so now I’m tackling the ChangeGrandpa’sMindAboutSemolinaChallenge. (Eds note:Yeah right… good luck on that one!)

Googling enlightened me. The Greeks eat the stuff. So do the Indians. And much more interestingly than our milk version.
Tonight we’ll attempt to tempt Grandpa with the Indian version….and if that doesn’t work we’ll trick him into a Greek one tomorrow;-) Then there’s always the moulded one J12 is putting together as I type.

(serves a dozen or so people)

2C milk
3C water
10T sugar
Mix together in a pot and bring to the boil.
Simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside.

2T butter
2T olive oil
2C semolina
Heat the oil and butter, then add semolina. Stir well and fry on a low heat until the semolina is lightly browned. Add the warm milk, stirring constantly over a low heat until the mixture is dry.

A little cardamom powder
Chopped nuts (almonds, cashews perhaps)
Sprinkle over and serve while hot.

GREEK SEMOLINA (aka halvas)
Yield: about 10 cups

5C water
2C sugar (eeeek)
1/2C honey
3 sticks cinnamon
3 whole cloves
slice of lemon peel
Boil gently for 1-2 minutes. Remove the lemon peel, cinnamon sticks, and cloves, reduce heat to lowest possible.

2C semolina
1C oil
While the syrup mixture is coming to a boil, start cooking the semolina: Heat oil in a pot.

1/4C walnuts, crushed
1/4C almonds or pine nuts, crushed
1/2C raisins
Add and continue to stir. When the semolina turns a dark gold color, remove the pot from the heat.
Pour the hot syrup over the semolina mixture, taking care not to get burned (it will spatter and boil up). Return to low heat and stir until the mixture become creamy and thick and doesn’t stick to the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat, cover with a clean dry towel, and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Spoon the mixture into one or more molds (pudding, jello or cake type) or large glass bowl and pat down with the back of a large spoon to fill the mold completely and create a level surface. Allow the halvas to cool and turn out onto a platter.

A little sugar
A little ground cinnamon
Sprinkle over and serve.

J12’s Semolina Whip

1 box jelly crystals (using up the pantry contents!)
2 1/2C water
2D semolina
2D sugar
Boil together for 5 minutes. Let it cool. Whip until thickish. Pour into greased mould and leave to cool completely.



  1. Love this post … especially the fabulous spices for the Greek version. what about using it to make gnocchi, which is fundamentally cheesy semolina – minus the sugar 😉


  2. We love the Indian styles around here with lots of raisins. First had it when we used to eat at the Hare Krishna restaurant on Queen St as students;-)

  3. The things I never knew about Semolina. We have it here, usually the milk version, with a big dollop of homemade jam stirred in, yum. I’m keen to try the indian version though.

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