Halawet Smeed is a simple semolina pudding flavoured with mastic and orange blossom water. It is made differently across the Levant and can be served warm or cold with or without nuts.
When I made Halawet Smeed the first time, I did not add any food colour like Sawsan's pink Kraiza. But after I made Beet Chocolate cake, I had some beet puree and the only dessert that came to my mind was this. So, made a small batch with the coloured water from the leftover beet puree.
Halawet El Smeed
Halawet Smeed aka Kraiza is traditionally made with fine semolina, sugar and water. If you add milk instead of water, then it becomes Layali Lubnan! There are versions with cheese, milk, crushed nuts and some that are served warm! Going by the name of the dish, there should be no cheese unless it is Halawet el Jibn (sweet cheese), another popular Arab dessert with clotted cheese rolled in semolina dough.
As recipes have room for customization, feel free to add milk, and nuts, and serve hot, warm, or cold- there is no end to possibilities because we are talking about Semolina!
- fine semolina
- food colour
- mastic beads
- orange blossom water
How to make it?
Making this semolina pudding is super easy. All you need to do is dump all the ingredients into a deep pot, stir until thickens, pour it into a tray and chill it to have it cold or you may serve it warm! So simple but results in melt-in-mouth deliciousness.
I have flavoured this halawet with Orange Blossom water and mastic gum. I used the beet just to add natural colour and you don't get the taste of beetroot because the orange blossom water and the mastic cover it up. You can make Halawet El Smeed by substituting the beet water with just plain water and a dash of food colour.
- fine semolina: If you don't have fine semolina, you can use coarse. Just pulse it a few times in the processor. But don't make it into powder.
- mastic beads: If you cannot source this, then skip it.
- orange blossom water: If you cannot source this, then replace it with rose water.
There are a few variations that you will find on the internet. With the same list of ingredients but a few added steps will result in totally different flavour. I love my friend, Farida's version of toasting semolina and adding simple syrup.
Halawet El Smeed | Semolina Pudding with Mastic
- ½ cup fine semolina
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 cups water see notes
- 1 drop food colour of choice or use beet juice
- 3 mastic beads crushed with a teaspoon of sugar
- ½ teaspoon orange Blossom water or rose water or any flavour you like
- Add the semolina, coloured water, sugar and crushed mastic into a deep pot.
- Cook over low to medium heat while stirring continuously until the mixture thickens.
- Stir in the orange blossom water and take the pudding off the heat.
- Pour the pudding into any wide tray to about 1 cm thickness. You can pour them into individual serving cups or a brownie pan to cut them into equal squares.
- Allow the pudding to cool down completely and then refrigerate it for at least two hours.
- Cut and serve cold as is or with some crushed nuts.