Semolina halva with almonds

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Ingredients

1 cup olive oil
2 cups coarse semolina
3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon honey
5 ½ cups of water
1 cup blanched and chopped almonds
1 stick of cinnamon
Lemon peel
A few cloves
Cinnamon powder and a few roasted almonds to garnish

Directions

In a medium saucepan, boil the water with the sugar, honey, cinnamon stick, cloves and lemon peel for about 5 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a large, deep saucepan. Add the almonds, browning them lightly. Then, add the semolina, stirring constantly on medium heat. Sauté until golden. Remove the saucepan from heat. Remove the spices from the syrup and add the syrup slowly to the semolina with a ladle, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. After adding the syrup, return the saucepan to low heat, stirring continuously until the semolina absorbs all the syrup and begins to expand. Add some cinnamon powder and stir. Remove from heat and cover the pan with a cotton tea towel for about an hour. Place the halva into a round mould or individual muffin tins, and then turn over onto a platter. Sprinkle with cinnamon powder and decorate with whole roasted almonds. Serve the halva hot or cold.

Portions: About 16

Tips
•    Use less sugar if you prefer it less sweet.
•    When mixing the syrup and semolina and raising the mixture to the boil, it can splatter, so wear a pair of gloves.
•    Consider adding ½ cup toasted sesame seeds, raisins or walnuts to the recipe.

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