August 19, 2012
Our vege boxes have recently tended towards more fruit than vegetables. Though I faithfully take an apple to work each day, bananas and oranges pile up in the fruit bowl, overflowing onto the table. Peeling and freezing bananas delayed the problem a while, but they still needed eating. It's too cold for smoothies and I wasn't in the mood for my usual banana baking... somehow I hit on the idea of mashing bananas into halava.
This actually proved the perfect remedy for my reservations about the original recipe. The bananas' sweetness and smoothness meant I could cut the sugar by another half, and the butter by almost as much. The texture's different, too. Fresh out of the saucepan this halava is mushier and less fluffy than the original, and then it stays soft and silky after days in the fridge.instead of setting to a grainy fudge.
I've been eating my breakfast pudding alternately with a mug of hot tea or a glass of cold milk.
(adapted from this recipe)
3 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup brown sugar
grated zest of 2 oranges
1 1/2 cups semolina
1/3 cup walnut pieces
3/4 cup dates, chopped
In a medium-large saucepan, stir together the water, sugar, sultanas and orange zest. Bring them to the boil, with a couple of stirs along the way to dissolve the sugar, then turn the heat off and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the semolina and gently roast it in the butter for 20 minutes, stirring regularly for even cooking. Add the walnuts at the 10-minute mark. It should smell great once it's done!
Gradually pour the sugar syrup into the semolina, stirring as you go. Keep stirring the pudding, letting the grains soak up all the liquid. When it's all absorbed, mash the bananas and fold them in, then stir in the dates. Cover the saucepan with a lid and take it off the heat, allowing the pudding to steam like this for about 10 minutes before serving.