I know there’s a stigma going around about how bloggers write their life story before a recipe. But I promise you, this one is worth it. I feel like knowing how special a recipe is makes me so much more inclined to make it. After all, it’s not like I’m sharing a Tuna Casserole and telling you how special it is 😂. These recipes hold so much value to me. They not only represent me and my culture, but the generations that came before me and how nostalgic these recipes truly are.
This is another recipe that comes from my Tata. Growing up, my tata used to make this for me. I remember her coming to our house on Fridays with a pot filled with this. She’d boil some water and add a little to it and cover the pot so she could reheat it for me after we ate dinner. As I got older, I would watch her make it not really paying much attention to the details. As she got older, and her parkinson’s progressed, she wasn’t able to cook as much. A few years ago when I went back home to visit, I spent the day at her house making some of her favorite foods. It was a good day for her. She helped me make this, and I’m so glad she did.
The toasted semolina is so fragrant, and the bubbling and sizzling when you add the water and syrup is so peaceful. It’s the scents and sounds that bring back so many memories for me. After she would boil the pudding a little, she would add cubes of sweet cheese and cover the pot. It would melt the cheese enough but it wouldn’t incorporate fully. You’d be left with these little puddles of cheese inside of this perfectly sweet toasty pudding. The final touch was always some toasted pine nuts. They add the perfect crunch and flavor and really put this dessert over the top. Truly a showstopper dessert. I hope you’ll make this delicious and easy dessert, and share it with those you love. When you do, please make a Prayer for my tata. May god rest her soul.Print
Halawet El Smeed, Semolina Pudding, حلاوة السميد بالجبنة
Toasty Semolina boiled with a sweet syrup. The end result is a wonderful warm pudding filled with puddles of sweet cheese and topped with toasted pine nuts.
4 tbsp Butter
1/2 cup Fine Semolina
2/3 cup Simple Syrup (3:2 Sugar & Water)
1/3 cup Water
1 tsp Orange Blossom Water
1/3 lb Sweet Cheese, cubed OR Fresh Mozzarella
2 tbsp Toasted Pine Nuts
In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the semolina and toast it on a medium heat until its evenly golden brown.
Add the simple syrup, water, and orange blossom water. It will sizzle so be careful.
Allow it to come to a boil. Stir well. Add the cubed cheese and mix it in. Add a splash of water and cover the skillet with a lid. The heat will melt the cheese.
Serve immediately topped with toasted pine nuts. Enjoy!
If you’re pudding gets too thick you can always add more water. I typically have a kettle of boiled water ready.
If you want it less sweet add more water and less syrup.
If you choose to make it ahead of time you can reheat it by pouring water and covering it with a lid. Reheat on low heat.