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Author Notes: 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 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.
- Add sultanas.
- 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!