Hálva Constantinople Style....Πολίτικος Χαλβάς

Hálva Prepared The Constantinoplean Way
Using Coarse Semolina.
Semolina , comes in coarse and fine grinds.  Wheat is the raw material where semolina comes from.  The Italians make their pasta from 100% semolina flour. The north Africans use semolina to make their couscous.  In Greece, semolina is used mainly for various types of sweets.

Hálva is a sweet commonly made in Eastern and South Mediterranean / North African regions. There are three types of sweet Hálva. The one made from Sesame seed (Tahini), consumed mainly during Lent before Easter, the second is the Constantinople way using Semolina, and the third made in Farsasla, Central Mainland Greece near Larisa.
Hálva made from semolina, is one of the most popular sweet made by Greeks originally from Asia Minor.
I would like share with you the sweet Hálva made the Constantinoplean way using coarse semolina. It is very refined and has lots toasted nuts.
To make one mould as see in photo above, you will need,
Serves 14
-  2 cups coarse Semolina.
-  ½ cup olive oil.
-  ½ cup sunflower oil.
-  4 cups water.
-  100 gms. pine nuts toasted.
-  50 gms. raisins. soaked in hot water to hydrate and swell.
-  1/3 cup hazel nuts roughly chopped, toasted.
-  1/3 cup wall nuts roughly chopped, toasted.
-  1/3 cup almonds roughly chopped toasted.
-  3 - 4 cinnamon sticks.
-  15 - 20 whole cloves.
-  1/2 orange peel grated.
-  1 sweet orange, peeled, and blended into a pulp.

-  Combine the water, the cinnamon, the whole cloves, the orange rind the orange pulp,  the raizins and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes then turn off heat.
-  Meanwhile, heat olive and sunflower oil and semolina on medium heat and stir continuously until the semolina has slightly browned (the browner it gets, the heavier it is to digest).
-  Basically now you  have one hot saucepan with the semolina, and another with the hot liquid mix from which the cinnamon sticks and the whole cloves have been omitted.
-  Start pouring, very carefully, the hot syrup to the hot semolina while still stirring. Care should be taken no to add the syrup too quickly because the hot semolina will start bubbling, and splattering all over the place which may cause burning.

The Hot Water Mix Has Already Been Added
To The Hot Semolina
Turn Off Heat, Cover With The Kitchen Tower
To Absorb Excess Vapors Just As We Do When
Cooking Rice (How To).
-  Once all the hot water has been added to the hot semolina, stir a couple of times more, turn off fire, cover with a kitchen towel, then cover with the saucepan lid.  Let it cool completely.

-  In the meantime add your extra nuts to the bottom of the mold to get it ready for the semolina.
-  When completely cool, add semolina to the mold using a wooden spoon. Fill and press hard  with your spoon so that the semolina gets well compacted.
-  Refrigerate for at least two hours.
-  Unmold and serve the pieces according the shape of the mold.
Enjoy this typical Greek sweet with coffee.


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