Semolina Halva with Saffron & Almonds

Recipes |

Semolina halva is one of the most popular Greek desserts. Not to be confused with the halva made with tahini, this one is made with olive oil, sugar and semolina. It is preferred by many during Lent, but all of us at Oliveology enjoy it all-year round. Remember our classic recipe from a few years back?

This spring we are making halva, but with a twist. We follow the traditional recipe of 1-2-3-4 (meaning one cup olive oil, two cups semolina, three cups sugar and four cups of water). But we add fragrant saffron. Our Greek saffron (Krokos Kozanis) is organic with P.D.O status from the Kozani Cooperative in Northern Greece. It has an exquisite floral flavour and aroma and gives a unique taste to this halva.

Serves 6


1 cup olive oil
2 cups coarse semolina
3 cups sugar
4 cups water
1 generous pinch of saffron
Zest from 1 orange or lemon
Cinnamon, cloves (to taste)
50g raw almonds
50g Corinth raisins (optional)


  • Finely chop the almonds. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl mix together the sugar, spices, orange or lemon zest and saffron.
  • In a medium-sized pot and over medium-low heat add the olive oil and semolina. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the semolina is golden but not brown. This step is crucial as cooking the semolina adds depth of flavour to the halva.
  • Add the sugar and spices, along with the almonds and Corinth raisins (if using) and mix everything together.
  • Add the water very slowly as it will bubble and splatter, taking care not to get burnt. Mix well.
  • Lower the heat to its lowest setting and let the halva cook, stirring often, until the halva thickens, around 20 minutes.
  • Serve hot or place in a cake tin or bowl and let it cool down.

Buy the products

Organic Greek Saffron
Organic Greek Saffron£9.00
Greek Almonds - Raw & Unsalted
Greek Almonds - Raw & Unsalted£6.00
Corinth Raisins
Corinth RaisinsFrom: £3.50
22°C Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
22°C Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil£32.50

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