After the «sinful» Semolina Cake with Chocolate and Nuts, I had to suggest a healthy, full of nutrients, semolina Halwa, with the minimum sugar. It is a lent recipe, ideal for the Orthodox Holy Week, since the small quantity of oil contained is coconut oil. It is a semolina halva with Mango, inspired by the Indian cuisine.
In India, the semolina halwa, (or Sheera, or Kesari) is a very popular dessert. It is prepared in countless variations, with a variety of ingredients. One of the most known and popular versions is the carrot halwa, whom I want some time to try. Today’s recipe, however, has as a basic component of my very favorite, fragrant mango. Mango, rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene (antioxidant which acts as a shield in many forms of cancer), contains complex carbohydrates that help boost metabolism to burn more calories. It is also rich in B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and fiber, while a single mango covers our daily requirement of vitamin C. It is also rich in lycopene, which is also a powerful antioxidant and essential for cell protection, while it suppresses tumor growth.
You can easily make mango puree yourself by mashing a ripe mango in a blender or food processor. Make sure your fruit is mature enough because it will need to add very little sugar. The sugar I use in this recipe is coconut sugar, probably the best alternative of plain sugar and the one with the less processing. Initially I put 1 ½ tablespoon sugar and was very good for my taste, since I want sweets a bit “unsweetened”. You should adjust the sweetness to your liking.
Besides mango, this halwa contains almonds, saffron and cardamom, ingredients that make our desserts even richer in nutrients.
It is a very easy halwa recipe; without making any syrup, or roasting the semolina for a long time. It is ready in 20 minutes.
- • 1 cup (160 g. / 5.6 oz.) fine semolina
- • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- • ¼ cup (25 g./ 1 oz.) almond slivers, roasted (in a nonstick skillet until browned)
- • 1 cup hot water
- • 10 saffron stamens
- • ½ tsp ground green cardamom (or break cardamom pods and smash the seeds in a mortar)
- • 2 cups (460 g. / 1 lb) ripe mango puree (i.e. one mango 600-650 g. approximately)
- • 1/3 teaspoon salt
- • 2-3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mango for garnish
- • grated coconut for garnish (optional)
- In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat the coconut oil. Add the semolina and cook for about 5 minutes, until lightly roasted and golden brown. Stir frequently.
- Meanwhile, heat the water and measure 1 cup. Pour the saffron stamens and cardamom and leave until needed.
- Once semolina is roasted, add the already roasted almonds and stir well. Reduce the heat to low.
- Strain through very carefully the hot water mixture in the pan and stir well.
- Immediately add the rest ingredients: salt, sugar, and mango puree. Stir for 2-3 minutes until halwa thickens. Remove from heat. At this stage you can carefully taste if the halwa needs more sugar and add it.
- Allow to cool and press it in special molds. Garnish with chopped fresh mango and, if desired, grated coconut.