Sweet Indian Dish - Semolina Halva

You want to refer to my other articles to find out more details.

For this mouthwatering recipe you will need the following ingredients.

Semolina Halva (halva sujee)

175g (6oz) sugar, a pinch of saffron, 50ml (2fl oz) full-fat milk, 275ml (10fl oz) water, 2 and a half (4oz) tablespoons of set butter-fat, 1 and a half teaspoons of crushed cardamom seeds, 2 tablespoons almonds (finely sliced), 2 or 3 tablespoons of sultanas or raisins and 100g (4oz) of semolina.

This recipe will be sufficient for 4-6 people.

Mix the sugar, saffron, milk and water, and boil for a couple of minutes; then pour this hot liquid syrup into a jug or a bowl. Melt the butter-fat in a large saucepan or deep frying pan, mix in the semolina and fry very slowly for about 10 minutes, stirring all the time. When the butter begins to separate from the semolina, and the mixture is a golden colour, it is time to pour in the syrup. Add the sultanas, and boil quickly until all superflous liquid has dried off, stirring all the time with a large spoon; this should not take more than 10 or 15 minutes. Pour the halva into a shallow heatproof glass or china dish, and decorate it with almonds and cardamom seeds or nutmeg and a pinch of saffron.

Instead of all sugar, i have used 100g (4oz) sugar and 1 and a half tablespoons golden syrup, and to my experience this greatly improved the flavour. Even honey may be considered to your likings.

After it is ready, it can be kept hot in a covered dish in a very low oven for an hour or so. It can be re-heated, which should be done very slowly, so that the halva does not become too stiff. I would not recommend the microwave to re-heat, because it will ruin the flavour and break off the halva into hard pieces. Use the oven instead with a moderate heat.

This halva can be made with wholemeal flour or besan (split pea flour, which can be learnt from my other articles) instead of semolina. It is a traditional dish, and a favourite of most Indians and Bangladeshis. It is considered very nourishing, and goes well with purees - a famous variety of Indian bread. It is usually served hot, although it can be served cold in the summer season.

Carrot Halva (gajar halva)

For this recipe you will need the following ingredients.

1.2 litres (2 pints) full-fat milk, 2 tablespoons of set butter-fat, 350g carrots, 2 dozen or more almond nuts, 165g of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cardamon seeds, 1 tablespoon of golden syrup and 1 tablespoon of sultanas or raisins.

Boil the milk in a large heavy aluminium sauce-pan. Scrape (not peel), wash and grate the carrots, and put them in with the milk. Cook over medium heat for just over an hour, stirring frequently with a large spoon to prevent sticking; the mixture by then should be fairly thick. Add sugar, syrup, sultanas and the butter-fat; pour the mixture into a deep aluminium frying pan, and keep boiling gently until the mixture begins to solidify, stirring frequently.

When the halva is of a deep orange colour, and has the desired consistency, it should be taken off the heat, spread on a well-buttered heatproof glass or china dish and decorated with the peeled and sliced almonds and the crushed cardamom seeds.

This halva can be served hot or cold, and should keep for three to four days. It is not only delicious, but is considered good nourishing food.