Semolina halva with petimezi, or grape syrup, is a perfect vegan Greek dessert
Σιμιγδαλένιος χαλβάς με πετιμέζι. We are so excited to share this recipe with you! We realize that it’s the first recipe we post using the very special Greek ingredient called petimezi (peh-tee-MEH-zee) , or grape syrup / molasses. Petimezi is pure, concentrated grape juice made from grape must and is perhaps the world’s oldest sweetener. It is a delight!
We love to get creative with halva. Once you get the basic recipe down, you can get very creative with the extra ingredients that will make your halva unique and special. This recipe is inspired by another dessert made using petimezi called moustalevria, a thick pudding made of grape must. Moustalevria is oven served with walnuts and sesame seeds, and so we have incorporated those two ingredients here as well. We hope that you love our semolina halva with petimezi as much as we do!
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Classic Greek semolina dessert with a seasonal twist
Halva is the perfect go-to dessert during periods of Orthodox lent. Naturally vegan it meets all the requirements of no meat, eggs, or dairy when we are fasting. Although the Orthodox calendar is almost 1/3 fasting days, halva is so good that we find ourselves making it even when we can have egg, butter and dairy filled desserts like bougatsa or galaktoboureko or double chocolate zucchini cake.
Continue reading “Cactus pear, lavender and walnut halva (Χαλβάς με φραγκόσυκο, λεβάντα και καρύδια)”
Greek halva is a semolina based vegan dessert; We have flavoured ours with apples and raspberry
This is an example of what happens when you take basic principles, and then let your imagination run free. The basic principle here is halva-making. Semolina based halva (not to be confused with the tahini based dessert which goes by the same name) is really versatile, and once you understand the basic premise of how to put one together, it becomes very easy to make it your own. We have already shared with you our parents’ basic halva recipe, flavoured with orange and studded with raisins. It’s delicious and it’s a very popular dessert during periods of lent (halva is both dairy and egg free). We’ve also shared with you a vegan chocolate halva, which is a bit more decadent, because, chocolate. But the halva story does not end there.
Chocolate halva is a creative version of a traditional Greek lenten dessert.
Have you ever heard of halva? If you’re Greek, you probably have, as this is a staple dessert during periods of lent when many abstain from eggs and dairy. This delightfully vegan dessert is a breeze to put together and when it is done in chocolate as it is here, you’ll find yourself desperate to come up with excuses to make it over and over again. We think that I just want to is reason enough.
Not only is halva delicious, it is also so versatile. We have previously posted a halva recipe which was flavoured with orange and raisins. Super delicious! The lovely thing about halva is that once you get the basic recipe down, you will find it pretty easy to experiment with other flavours and combinations of ingredients. We have created recipes for halva with petimezi, with cactus pear and a dual flavoured halva with apple and raspberry. All so wonderful! Here, we have moved into the delicious world of chocolate and created a chocolate halva. We decided to mix in some cocoa powder, dairy free chocolate pieces and finely chopped walnuts to create a vegan chocolate lover’s halva.
Greek halva is a simple Greek vegan dessert made with semolina.
Have you ever made a bowl of Cream of Wheat cereal and not been able to eat it right away? Maybe you had to tend to a fussy baby, a pesky telemarketer or a parcel delivery (hurray for on-line shopping). No matter the interruption, when you finally settled in to add milk to your porridge, you were faced with a solid mass of wheat semolina. The fact that, as semolina sits it firms up, is what halva banks on.
The Greek halva recipe which we are sharing here is grain-based and not the same thing as the nut butter or tahini based crumbly dessert with which it is often confused (no kidding, since they both go by the same name!). This halva is semolina based and has a soft and somewhat gelatinous texture. It is a great dessert to pull together when you have unexpected company or a sudden onset of sweet tooth-itis. Because halva is not baked, it can be made quite quickly, and is ready to eat as soon as it cools and retains it’s shape. An added bonus is that halva does not contain eggs or any dairy products, making it a wonderful treat for anyone following a vegan diet or for those abstaining from eggs and dairy during lent.