Pumpkin Halva


Halva is a well known dessert in the Balkans and in the Mid East…..but they are different. Every culture has their own traditional ways of making it. In the Mid East halva is made with tahini and is commonly found in Middle Eastern stores ready in a plastic container….very sweet and hard sometimes with added pistachios, although I did find one that is soft and more like cotton candy and that is really yummy as well.

Pumpkin Halva

Albanian and Turkish halva is made from either farina or semolina  or flour and has a soft texture, it is also light to dark brown  and for the most part tastes the same…..depending on how much sugar or the use of butter verses margarine or oil texture of the semolina, the browning of it ….all these things makes a difference. You can add raisins and walnuts to it if you like, my mom always does.

In Pakistan they make halva from semolina as well, but with added flavours, added ingredients for taste, texture and colour. It is more firm like chewy almost.

I am so happy to be able to share this family recipe with you!  This is usually made without pumpkin, I added the pumpkin to the recipe as I love it! You can make it with or with out pumpkin.

For those that are not familiar with the making of halva, I do suggest getting someone to help you, as it is recipe where  a second set of hands does come handy!

What you will need:

  • 2 cups Cream of Wheat (semolina or farina)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup semolina
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3/4  cup raisins
  • 2 cups sugar or desired amount may use less
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 5-6  cups boiling water
  • 1 cup  hot milk

Melt butter, add oil and stir in cream of wheat and flour…stir until brown and looks like brown sugar, add in cinnamon and pumpkin spice at the end of the browning process.

Remove from heat, and add the boiling water and milk stirring in quickly using a whisk…you may need assistance. Add pumpkin, sugar and raisins. You need to stir fast with wooden spatula or whisk, add back to heat and cook on very low heat till mixture is cooked and is pulling from sides of pot.

Add to a 13x 9 inch pyrex pan…let stand, and cover with cling wrap and a tea towel for 2o minutes, to allow to set. When set cut into it in diamonds or squares. Serve warm and store the rest in fridge can be eaten cold or warm, but is best served when freshly made.

Pumpkin Halva

Brown the Cream of Wheat till it looks like brown sugar

I like to soak my raisins in hot water, so that they plump up, as they don’t have much cooking time…you don’t want to find hard raisins in your halva:)

Pour halva in a 9×13 inch Pyrex pan,press down with a spoon or spatula. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired

Cut halva in squares or diamonds


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  1. Oh My that looks Delicious! Please visit my blog for an Award! <3 and Hugs Dear Friend! http://www.recipesformyboys.com/2011/10/liebster-

  2. tanjascookingcorner says:

    Oh, I have never thought of adding pumpkin into Halva- it sounds and looks delish!!! I am sorry I haven' translated my Halva's recipe into English yet, Donika, but will do it as soon as possible!

    Have a wonderful day!


  3. Your Halwa looks super yummy Donika. xx Misbah

  4. Hi Donika! How are you? I'm Camilla from Kakemilla.
    With "Kathara Deftera – Clean Monday" coming up here in Greece next week I am planning to make this. Looks really yummy and my husband and son really love their halva so this should be my contribution this year. I have to say that in my opition fresh halva like this is just so much better than the Macedonian dried one, if you know which one I'm talking about… And I think the addition of pumpkin is really interesting!
    My question i: Which country does this recipe actually descend from? If (and I'm sure it will) it turns out great I would like to add the recipe to my own blog. It goes without saying that I'll link up to your blog to credit you for the recipe. You say that this is a family recipe and I would like to know which country it is from? Thank you Donika!! You have a great website with wonderful recipes!
    xo Camilla

    • Aww thank you Camilla! Yes I am familiar with that one, as my mom was born and grew up in Macedonia ;) My family is Albanian, so this is Albanian Halva…although they’re some Albnanians that make it dry as well, maybe it depends on the region they are from? My family makes it like this! Its moist and so yummy!:) Of course the pumpkin is optional, and not traditional at all, just thought it would be a sweet addition:) Can’t wait to see your post, and thank you for adding the link back to my page! ~Donika xo

      • Hi again Donika! Thank you so much for your reply! :) This recipe is really so great! I've made it today and can't wait to try it tomorrow! It looks really yummy!!! My son helped me making it and yes, it is very useful with another set of hands when adding the boiling water! Great that you pointed that out in the method! I omitted the raisins as my husband and son are not big fans of raisins but I'm sure it will be wonderful without! I'll keep you posted!!! :) Have a great rest of the Sunday! xo Camilla

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