Greek Halva recipe (Semolina Pudding with Raisins)

Halva (Greek Semolina Pudding with Raisins)

Traditional Greek Halva recipe – “1:2:3:4” Ready!

The traditional semolina Greek Halva recipe is often referred as “1:2:3:4”, as it calls for one unit oil, two semolina, three sugar and four water. So simple! If you haven’t tried semolina Greek halva before, you will be surprised by the delicious taste of those 4 humble ingredients, when combined.. When preparing a Greek halva recipe, the semolina is firstly toasted in oil, bringing an irresistible smell and then soaked in hot syrup, with the aromas and blends of cinnamon and clove. Simply delicious! So if you are looking for a delicious no-dairy, no-butter and egg-free dessert, that’s the one!

Traditional Greek Halva recipe – Tips

Toast the semolina in the oil until it becomes golden brown. For the oil mixture I always choose to combine vegetable oil with olive oil for extra flavour, but you can use only vegetable oil if you prefer. Allow the semolina to darken and get fragrant, but be careful not to over toast it or else it will burn and the halva will become bitter. Once you toast the semolina, remove the pot from the stove and add your hot syrup. (Be really careful, as the halva mixture is very hot!). When preparing the syrup for this halva recipe, you should never blend or stir the syrup to prevent it from getting grainy. Just bring to the boil, let the sugar dissolve in the hot water and boil for a few minutes, until it slightly thickens. Then you should cook the halva until it thickens a lot. You need to cook the halva, until almost solid, as it won’t solidify much more after cooling. Don’t forget to stir the mixture during the whole process. Allow the halva to cool for about 1 1/2 hour before serving, in order to become easily sliceable. Enjoy!

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Halva (Greek Semolina Pudding with Raisins)

Greek Halva recipe (Semolina Pudding with Raisins)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (665 votes, average: 4.88 out of 5)
  • Author: Eli K. Giannopoulos
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 10 portions 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: Greek


The traditional Greek Halva recipe is often referred as “1:2:3:4”, as it calls for one unit oil, two semolina, three sugar and four water. So simple!



For the Halva

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup corn oil
  • 2 cups semolina (1 1/2 cup coarse and 1/2 cup thin)
  • 1/4 of a cup blond raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers (optional)

For the syrup

  • 3 cups of sugar (or 2 cups sugar and 1 cup honey)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 whole clove (optional)


  1. To prepare this delicious Greek halva recipe, start by preparing the syrup. Add all the ingredients into a pan over high heat and bring to the boil. Boil until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup slightly thickens. Set aside, but keep warm.
  2. In the meantime, roast the almond silvers into the oven at 180C. Although the traditional Greek halva recipe doesn’t include almonds, it’s always a nice addition, which gives extra flavour and crunchiness.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pot and add gradually the semolina. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon to allow the semolina to absorb the oil. When the semolina starts to bubble, turn the heat down and allow to toast until golden (whilst constantly stirring). The more you toast the mixture, the darker it will become. So be careful not to over toast it, as the semolina will burn and the halva will become bitter.
  4. Remove the pot from the stove and pour in the warm syrup. Stir with a wooden spoon and return the pot on the stove. Cook the halva (whilst stirring) until the mixture thickens and pulls away easily from the sides of the pan.
  5. Remove the pot from the stove, add the raisins and half of the roasted almond slivers and blend. Cover the halva with a towel and let it rest for 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into a pudding mold or into individual bowls.
  6. Allow the halva to cool for about 1 1/2 hour before serving. Garnish with some cinnamon powder and sprinkle with the rest almond slivers. If you can’t hold yourself for so long, then spoon into individual bowls and serve warm with a full-spoon of vanilla ice cream!


  • Serving Size: 1 piece
  • Calories: 592kcal
  • Sugar: 62.6g
  • Sodium: 1.5mg
  • Fat: 25.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 20.8g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 89g
  • Fiber: 2.3g
  • Protein: 5.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: Greek Halva Recipe, Semolina Halva, Greek Semolina Pudding


  1. Golan Bitan

    What a great website you have!
    With this one I failed.
    Where I was wrong? The oil separated from the mixture during stiring it, and the halva became tough and dry, before the last stage of molding it…
    can you see where I was wrong? 🙂

  2. Hi Golan

    Oh no… The only thing I can think of was that the temperature of the stove was set too high for too long, causing the oil to overheat and separating from the mixture. Possibly a little more vigorous mixing would have helped as well?



    • Golan Bitan

      Hi Eli,
      Thanks for the replay
      This recepy is on the stove flame only, or I missed something…
      I probably stirred it too much and the liquids run out. It became hard as stone after it got cool and impossible to clean the pot. So, I added water and boiled it and after it melted I got a great pudding:-)

      • Hi Golan

        That actually sounds like it worked! Basically when the mix was getting thick you should have stopped, instead of continuing to stir. But I see that you’ve saved it quite nicely there!



  3. Life has plenty of ways and directions to take. As Metin Helva family, we have chosen the “sweet side” of life. We have always intended to bring posibly the most natural tastes of the sweet world with halva, jam and honey…

  4. The semolina halva is an invention essentially of the north of India that is made there, being something less popular in the south.

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