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Greek semolina halva

Greek Semolina Halva

Greek semolina halva is a traditional no-dairy, no-butter and egg-free Mediterranean dessert. It is a pudding enhanced with nuts and dried fruits, soaked in hot syrup and delightfully spiced.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Servings 4



  • 2-3 cups granulated sugar or 1-1½ cups honey
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 1 orange peel
  • 3 whole cloves (optional)


  • 1 cup olive oil, mild taste
  • 1 cup coarse semolina
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • ½ cup goji berry or raisins
  • ½ cup almond slivers, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C). Line a small and shallow baking sheet with parchment. Toast the almond slivers for about 5-8 minutes.


  • In a medium pot with 4 cups water over high heat, add sugar (or honey), the cinnamon stick, the peels of lemon, orange and the cloves (optional). Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Don't stir at all. Set aside and keep it hot.


  • In a non-stick, heavy-bottomed pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until slightly simmering.
  • Add the semolina and stir frequently to prevent from sticking and burning preferably with a wooden spoon. Don't leave the pot unattended. When the semolina starts to bubble, turn the heat down to low while stirring. It takes more or less 15 minutes for the grains to take a deep golden color.
  • Add the ground cinnamon, the toasted almonds and the goji berries (or raisins) and stir for a few more minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.


  • Remove the cinnamon stick, the lemon, orange peels and the cloves (optional) from the syrup.
  • Pour gradually and extremely carefully the syrup into the semolina mixture. Stir with the wooden spoon, place the pot back on the stove and keep on stirring on medium heat for a few minutes. The semolina is ready when it thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
  • Remove from heat and cover the pot for 15 minutes to settle. Put the mixture into a cake or pudding mold, ramekin, etc and wait for about 1 hour.
  • Top with cinnamon, almonds and toasted pine nuts.
Keyword Greek Semolina Halva