Semolina Helva With Almonds

Semolina Helva is one of the simplest dessert recipes. Using only minimal ingredients you can create a very tasty dessert. The amount of sugar can be adjusted to ones liking. Different flavor essences can be added to give it a special twist like orange or lemon rind, vanilla, pine nuts or almonds. As for me I love adding roasted almonds and lemon rind. This recipe is good for  a large group of 30 to 35 people. You can always reduce it by half or even less.


  • 6 cups semolina
  • 3 cups butter
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1lt milk
  • 1lt water
  • 2 tbsp (finely grated) lemon rind
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 cup unsalted almonds+ 2tbsp butter

How To:

Combine the water, milk and sugar in a large pot over moderate heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat. After 5 minutes remove from heat. Set aside.

Put the almonds in a bowl, pour boiling water on top. Let them sit until the water gets cold. Strain and unshell them by rubbing them in between your fingers. Put the unshelled almonds  in a sauce pan add butter and brown until golden .

Melt the butter in a large heavy based pot over low heat. Add the semolina and slowly and rhythmically stir-fry the semolina for about 30 minutes, or until they darken to a golden colour and become aromatic. Be careful not to darken them.

Add the browned almonds together with the butter in the pan and the lemon rind. Raise the heat under the semolina for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Remove the saucepan of semolina from the heat, and slowly and very carefully pour the hot syrup into the semolina, stirring steadily.

The semolina will splutter, but will quickly cease as the liquid is absorbed. Return the Helva to the stove and stir steadily over very low heat until the grains fully absorb the liquid and start to form into a pudding-like consistency, and pull away from the sides of the pan.

Add the cream, and stir. Place the lid on the pot and cook over the lowest possible heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, take the lid off and cover it with a clean towel and let sit for 30 minutes before serving.




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