Sweet Delights of Greece: Mastering the Art of Greek Halva - A Traditional Semolina Pudding Recipe

 Do you like easy, yet delicious, dessert recipes? Then, this Greek halva recipe is a must-try! 

This authentic Greek halva recipe is also known as “1:2:3:4”. Do you know why? Because in order to make it you need one glass of Greek olive oil, 2 glasses of semolina, three glasses of sugar, and four glasses of water. Only four ingredients to create magic. 

What is halva?  This is one of the most popular semolina desserts. Halva (χαλβάς in Greek) is the name of the traditional Greek semolina pudding. The first time I tried it was at my aunt’s home and I couldn’t get over how delicious it was. It was right before Easter and the whole family was fasting regardless if we wanted to fast or not. When I was a kid, if a dessert didn’t have chocolate or a scoop of ice cream, I wouldn’t consider it a dessert. So, you imagine my pleasant surprise when I first tasted it. There was a dessert I liked to eat during Sarakosti! When I met my wife and we moved in together years ago, this used to be our favorite dessert! When she was pregnant to our first kid this was one of the few desserts she could eat. We had a ritual. She was waiting for me to come from work so we could share together a piece of halva. So, you can imagine I have connected this dessert with so many beautiful memories!

Easy to make, this Greek halva recipe with semolina takes you around 50 minutes to prepare and 45 minutes to bake. It is totally worth the effort! To make this traditional semolina pudding, you just need the following ingredients: semolina, olive oil, water, and sugar and you don’t need to have any special cooking skills. Just follow the recipe. To be honest, though, it took me a couple of times to get the process right. Just like everything in life, cooking needs practice!

There are some important tips I would like to share with you when you make halva. First, I find it very useful to wear cooking gloves while I stir the semolina. This protects my hands from getting burned. The other tip is that you need to remove the semolina from the heat when it gets a nice golden color. If you keep on stirring it there is a chance that your halva will have a burnt taste. 

If you like to add some more flavor to this Greek halva recipe you can add some raisins or even some walnuts or almonds. I personally enjoy eating halva more when it has some more golden raisins.  

This Greek halva recipe, a dessert totally worth the effort if you are a vegetarian, serves around 15 people depending on the sizes you serve. My kids just love it and when I make it, it disappears in one day!

Greek Halvas

Greek Halva Recipe - Ingredients

  • 1 glass of olive oil
  • 2 glasses of semolina
  • 3 glasses of sugar
  • 4 glasses of water 

Greek Halva Recipe - How to make

  1. Start this traditional halva recipe by taking a pot and adding olive oil. 
  2. Heat the oil. Add the semolina and constantly stir with a wooden spoon until the semolina gets a nice golden color. 
  3. At the same time, take another pot, and add the water and the sugar. Boil until the sugar is dissolved. 
  4. As soon as the semolina is roasted, you add the water with the dissolved sugar. Stir it well.
  5. Turn off the heat and cover the pot with a clean towel. Cover it with the pot lid. Allow it to rest until it doesn’t bubble anymore. 
  6. Place the Greek halva into a cake form and allow it to cool down.
  7. The Greek halva is ready when it easily comes off the cooking form.
  8. Remove it from the cooking form.
  9. You can optionally sprinkle some cinnamon over it.
  10. Serve.  
You may add some golden raisins to this Greek halva recipe. If you like this recipe, you should try this karidopita recipe. Enjoy!