Semolina Halva with a Twist

İrmik Helvası - Semolina Halva with Cardamom & Pistachio

İrmik Helvası – Semolina Halva with Cardamom & Pistachio

After significant absence from NazarBlue, my apology comes in the form of an easy to make, tasty treat; Turkish style semolina helva with my own aromatic twist.

It can be served hot (with ice cream yum yum) or once cooled, when it can be easily divided into portions. 

The various words for  ‘Halva’ derive from the Arabic Halawa, meaning sweet. Halva / Helva / Halawa is a typical Mediterranean / Middle Eastern / Asian / Balkan / Eastern European confection which can be made from easily available ingredients; primarily grain, resulting in a gelatinous texture (most typically semolina or wheat flour is used) or ground nuts or pulses which result in a more solid texture. Other more exotic bases for Halva are chickpeas and pulses or carrots and decorations amd accompaniments range from pistachio to chocolate, or honey.

Here is my version of Cardamom and Pistachio İrmik Helvası.

Maison Souss, London W12

Maison Souss Sweets

Honestly, some of the best Middle Eastern sweets I have found in London’s entirety.

Click here for full article

Tahseen’s Iraqi Sweets

Tahseen's Iraqi Sweets

‘What are you going to do with those?’ asked the kindly man in Tesco’s, pointing at a packet of Pakistani vermicelli in my shopping basket.

‘Can I give you my recipe?’ he added.


Tahseen, an Iraqi national, proceeded to give me the recipe for his cardamom sweets on a hot July Friday evening, standing in the wafts of charcoal and meat of London’s Edgware Road.

Sweet, fragrant, nutty, crunchy, moreish and moorish, most of all simply delicious. Recipe here