Spiced semolina and almond halva

Halva recipes are many and varied - but broadly speaking are dense, sweet treats popular in Middle Eastern cuisines made on either nut butter or flour. Our halva recipe uses semolina and almonds to create a deliciously spiced treat for any time of day.

  • 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 20
  • Print


  • 2 cup (440g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 litre (4 cups) water
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 220 gram (7 ounces) butter, chopped coarsely
  • 2 cup (320g) semolina
  • 1/2 cup (80g) coarsely chopped blanched almonds
  • 2 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
  • 1/2 cup (80g) coarsely chopped raisins
  • 1/4 cup (40g) blanched almonds, extra, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 1
    Grease a 20cm x 30cm (8-inch x 12-inch) slice pan or ovenproof dish; line base and sides with baking paper, extending paper 5cm (2 inches) over short sides.
  • 2
    Stir sugar, the water, cloves and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil; boil, uncovered, without stirring, 5 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, heat butter in a large saucepan until foaming. Add semolina and chopped nuts; cook, stirring, about 8 minutes or until browned lightly. Remove from heat. Carefully strain sugar syrup into semolina mixture (mixture will bubble up).
  • 4
    Return pan to heat, add rind and raisins; cook, stirring, about 1 minute or until thick and starting to come away from the side of the pan
  • 5
    Spread semolina mixture into slice pan; top with extra nuts, cool. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon before cutting.

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