Recipe – Semolina Pudding (Halawa)

(enough for 6 – 8 persons ; cooking time: 30 – 40 minutes)


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cups raw sugar
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 115 g (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup coarse-grained semolina
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 2 tbsp Vanilla essence (optional)


  1. Place the butter in a non-stick saucepan and melt the butter. Add the semolina and walnut pieces. Slowly stir-fry the grains and nuts until they darken to a tan colour and become aromatic (about 20 minutes). Stirring more carefully, raise the heat under the grains.
  2. Add the water and sugar. Bring the syrup to a rolling boil. Keep stirring steadily. The grains may at first splutter, but will quickly cease as the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Stir steadily over low heat until the grains fully absorb the liquid, start to form into a pudding-like consistency, and pull away from the sides of the pan. Add vanilla essence. Place a tight-fitting lid on the saucepan and cook over the lowest possible heat for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, allow the halava to steam, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. Serve hot in dessert bowls.