(I use round baking tray, 24 cm diam.)
This dessert is very popular around the Balkans. I know at least 4-5 recipes. I chose this particular one since is suitable for people who are fasting and perfectly fits the Christmas Eve holidays. I do not overlook the traditional aromas of cinnamon and dried fruit. You will definitely like it!
Products you need for this Halva:
1 ½ cup of Semolina
½ cup of sunflower oil
2-3 pinches of dried cardamom
½ cup almond flour (could be more)
Products for the syrup:
2 cups of water
1 cup of sugar
2 tbsp. honey
10 grains of cloves
a cinnamon stick
lemon essence (or you can use the juice and the lemon peels)
a big handful of black raisins
In a dry saucepan, I fry for a short time Semolina with the oil. Then add the cardamom and the almond flour. The mixture looks like sand. It is easily burnt. The cooker should not be very hot. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the Semolina becomes slightly brownish. It only takes 5-8 minutes. Remove it from the hot plate.
Meanwhile, in another pan, I put all the ingredients for the syrup (without the raisins) all at once to boil for a few minutes.
Once the syrup is ready, I put the clove grains and the cinnamon stick out. Add the raisins in the hot liquid.
Pour the hot syrup into a hot meal (Semolina) and stir vigorously. In fact, the Semolina is already fried. So it does not have to be on the hot plate while I pour the syrup, but it needs to absorb it well.
Pour the mixture into a greased round cake pan. Thicken it so that there is no air.
After cooling, I turn the mold onto a large wooden board.
Cut it into pieces.
When possible, I use fresh lemons. I use essence since the lemons I have at hand in the shops around me are treated with chemicals. I chose the essence as “the lesser of two evils”. Optionally, essential oils that are safe for cooking could be used.