This is called Politiki Halva as it comes from the Greeks living in the Poli - as Constantinople was (and still is) called. It can be made very quickly and easily and is a delicious sweet. I myself often eat it with strained yoghurt as a wonderful, filling breakfast! This recipe is with milk and butter, but during Lent in Greece, the alternative is to use oil instead of butter and water instead of milk. In the recipe below I have added them in brackets where they are the alternative.
We have pine kernels in this recipe and raisins are an optional extra, depending how sweet you want it. Broken almonds are also an alternative to the pine kernels, if you so wish.
500g coarse semolina
200g butter (200ml extra virgin olive oil)
1 litre milk (1 litre water)
100g pine kernels
10 cardamom pods
½ tsp cinnamon
50g raisins (optional)
Put the milk (water) and sugar in a pan, crack open the cardamom pods and add just the seeds.
Bring to boil.
While the milk (water) is heating up, put the butter in a heavy bottom pan and heat until it melts – or heat the oil if you are not using butter.
Reduce the butter (oil) to a moderate heat and add the semolina and pine kernels.
Stir continuously with a wooden spoon for approx. 10 minutes – until the semolina and kernels have changed colour, but not so long that it has turned dark brown.
Keep your eye on the milk (water) and when it has come to the boil pour the milk (water), sugar and cardamom mixture slowly into the pan with the semolina.
Do this very carefully as the hot milk raises the temperature and it may start spitting.
If you want to have raisins in the halva, then this is the time to add them.
Stir continuously for approx. 2-3 minutes until the milk (water) has been completely absorbed and there is no liquid.
Remove from the heat and put the halva into a cake form.
Turn it over onto a serving dish and sprinkle the cinnamon on top.
Eat and Enjoy!