My mother makes a 'halwa' out of semolina, butter, cardamom, sultanas, sugar and slivered almonds. The consistency of her dessert is somewhat like mashed potatoes. I am a huge fan of farina and thought I could use the same ingredients my mother uses for halwa in this dish. The cardamom adds that earthy yet floral fragrance; the almonds a dimension of textural crunch; and who doesn't love pure Canadian maple syrup? Steam lifting off of the bowl with wafts of cardamom: reminiscent of my childhood. —shayma
cardamon pods, seeds extracted, pods discarded
handful slivered almonds + more for garnishing
handful golden sultanas + more for garnishing (my preferred sultanas are from Iran- found in any Persian market)
pure maple syrup (I like Grade 'C' from Quebec, which is Amber)
In This Recipe
In a medium-sized frying pan (8in), melt butter on a low to medium flame.
Add seeds from cardamom pods, slivered almonds and farina; saute till fragrant and the farina changes colour slightly - approximately 5-7 minutes.
In the meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, bring water, milk and salt to a gentle, rolling boil.
Slowly whisk in the farina till it thickens. If you feel you would like it thinner, keep a kettle of boiling water handy to play with the consistency.
Serve hot, garnished with more sultanas and slivered almonds.
And then douse it with as much maple syrup as you like, straight into your bowl!
Shayma Saadat is a cookery teacher, food writer, stylist and photographer who focuses on the food of her heritage - Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, which she refers to as Silk Route cuisine. Shayma lives in Toronto with her husband and son. You can follow her culinary journey on Instagram @SpiceSpoon.