So, I must confess this morning that as I am updating my blog, I am enjoying a latte with regular milk . I made it only one week being completely vegan :( I think if I had more resources I could last a lot longer, but my main excuse is that I just missed coffee too much! I will continue to restrict my dairy and am committed to not eating meat until after Easter. I hope this training leads to stronger self control . . . even when it isn’t convenient!
Enough about me, I want to share a very popular sweet that IS Lent appropriate. Semolina halvas is usually made in the shape of a cake and sliced, but I made mini halvas bites. This recipe is so simple and easy, yet so tasty and delicious it is the ideal Lenten snack.
There are two types of halvas. One is made with ground sesame seeds and usually mixed with cocoa or vanilla forming a kind of sweet yet chalky snack. And this one, which is made with semolina or a kind of cream of wheat textured grain. You gently heat in a pan, mixing everything together and then let it set up in whatever shape you desire. The bite sized pieces turned out perfect in my opinion! Topped with cinnamon or almond slivers and you have an ideal sweet.
Semolina Halvas Recipe: Makes 2 mini muffin pans, or a medium – large cake mold
1 cup light oil (EVOO, sunflower, or canola, or a mixture)
2 cups coarse semolina
1/2 – 1 cup nuts: walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, ect, chopped finely or processed quickly
Cinnamon and a few nuts for topping
1 cup sugar (raw, brown, or white)*
1 cup honey
3 cups hot water
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
1 lemon or orange peel chunk
Heat the water in a small saucepan, and then add everything for the syrup recipe. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, remove the spices and peel and cool slightly. Heat oil in another saucepan, add semolina. Continue to stir the semolina until the color turns golden, add the nuts and continue to stir until the nuts become slightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan momentarily from the heat, slowly pour the syrup into the semolina pot, being very CAREFUL not to burn yourself as it may jump out of the pan. Stir vigorously to ensure that the mixture doesn’t clump together. Return to heat for a few minutes and cook until thickens a little, it should look like a thick, runny dough. Pour into chosen pan and cool until set in place. Flip or remove the halvas and sprinkle with nuts and cinnamon. I used almonds and the result was really delicious!
*Sugar can be reduced by half