After the delicious Chocolate Caliente, we are doing T. I chose Turkey when I checked for letters starting with alphabet. Initially I was planning to make Baklava, as it's been on my list for such a long time. However seeing it's a common dish across so many countries, decided to keep it on hold for now. Then I somehow landed in this space, where there was this Semolina Halva, served with Ice cream topping for a dessert!
The pictures were beautiful, so was the recipe. Given my addiction to anything Halwa, I had to make this. It was interesting to see how a regular ingredient and a regular dish that's prepared in our cuisine, takes a different form and taste. The beginning of the weekend I was down with 4 alphabets to be done. I couldn't do anything on Saturday and hoping I might atleast get the week going.
Surprisingly I managed to get all the dishes done and it was such a hectic day. The cooking was done non stop, with teaching the boys on how birds eat their food, build their nest. Couple of dishes were super hit, will talk more on it when it comes to that letter. On the whole it was such a satisfying day, on cooking front. When I finally crossed all my letters and did a whoops, Konda said she knew why I did that.
Though Peddu was saying he would taste this, he didn't. Konda was more busy with other dishes that were made and later told me that she did taste it and liked it a lot. However I had loved this personally and get the same feedback from parents and hubby dear. This really gives a stiff competition to our home favorite Suji Ka Sheera.
Having said that, it doesn't taste anything like the Suji Ka Halwa. Infact it tastes more like the Vellam Puutu, a dish that's made with steamed Rice flour and Jaggary, prepared during Navaratri. Or more like Ukkarai to some extent.
All the comparisons aside, I felt this is a great dish to simple sit back and enjoy. The preparation hardly takes time. Though one has to be at the stove, stirring to ensure the semolina doesn't get burnt. Otherwise, this is a simple to prepare, with just the right amount of sweetness and still giving you the right dose.
When I had checked on this recipe, the Semolina Halva was served with Turkish Ice Cream. The Ice cream was a regular one, so I didn't think it made any sense to make the ice cream. With exams still on for the kids, I didn't want to take the risk of making Ice creams at home.
The halwa was good on it's own with roasted crispy almonds for the bite. The recipe called for pine nuts, I simply substituted with Almonds.
The original recipe says that the traditional way of making this halwa is by using a mixture of milk and sugar. However with the substitute of sweetened condensed milk, the author said he didn't find any difference and that worked to my benefit as well. The most important factor being to ensure your semolina develops a golden colour. With 1 cup of semolina, it took me about 10 -12 mins.
Country - T for Turkey
Category - Sweets, Desserts
Cooking Time - 20 mins
Semolina - 1 cup
Unsalted Butter - 2 tbsp
Cooking Oil - 1 tbsp
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 200 gms (1/2 tin)
Water - 1/2 cup
Almonds - 1/4 cup
Unsalted Butter - 1 tbsp
How to make the Semolina Halva
In a small pan, bring the water to boil. Slowly add the condensed milk and simmer till it gets combined well. Cook for 5 -7 mins.
Meanwhile heat a non stick pan with butter and oil. Add the semolina and roast on medium heat, till you get a nice brown colour. This takes about 10 mins of stirring non stop, making sure it doesn't get burnt.
Now slowly add the condensed milk mix to the roasted semolina, be very careful as the hot milk can splatter and bubble up. Cover and cook for 5 mins, keep stirring in between to make sure the bottom doesn't get burnt. This takes about 10 mins to get cooked.
Remove from heat, cook it covered with lid for 5 -7 mins. Heat a pan with 1 tbsp butter, roast chopped almonds till crisp, pour over the cooked semolina and make sure you mix everthing well with the back of your wooden spatula.
This can be served with ice cream as it makes a great combination.
Leaving the halwa to absorb unattended after the cooking time and making sure you mix all lumps that get formed, gives you a soft, expanded semolina.