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The word actually means “sweet” in Turkish, and it can refer to any of a number of confections found from Russia to India. Greeks make several versions of halvah. This one is the home cook’s classic, made with semolina flour, nuts and cinnamon. Like the tahini cake on page 79, halvah is one of the standard desserts of the Greek Lenten table.

3 cups sugar
4 cups water

1 cup Krinos Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups coarse semolina flour
1 cup chopped almonds 
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Make syrup: Bring sugar and water to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and add the semolina in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly until the mixture browns. Add the syrup, stirring vigorously and continuously. Cook, stirring, until all the syrup is absorbed. Add almonds and cinnamon. Pour mixture into a 7-inch tube pan and cool. To serve, flip onto a platter, carefully remove the pan, and sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired. 

Yield: 12 servings