Halwau-E Aurd-E Sujee is an Afghan dessert made with sugar, semolina, and ghee and then flavored with cardamom and rosewater. The English name for this dessert is “semolina sweetmeat,” but, quite frankly, I think that name sounds unappetizing. “Semolina sweet treat” is a more accurate (and less icky) name, so from now on we’ll stick with that.
An Unruly Sweet Tooth
I come from a family of dessert lovers. My dad eats Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups after dinner every night,
my mom and I can never say no to splitting dessert at a restaurant, and my grandma starts each meal by asking what’s for dessert. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree… no matter how much I wish it did.
I can’t help it! Some people have a big sweet tooth, and some people have a mouth full of sweet teeth. I fall into the latter category. If cookies were as healthy as broccoli, I can assure you I’d be making them every darn day. But, alas, the world is not perfect….
BUT, now once a week I get to try a different dessert from a different country in the world!! And that’s about as close to perfection as a girl can ask for *cue a unicorn jumping over a rainbow*
The First Dessert!
For my first “foreign” dessert, I decided to try something unlike anything I’ve ever baked before! Halwau-E Aurd-E Sujee isn’t a cookie or a cake or a pie or a pastry. Quite honestly, I don’t really know what to classify it as. But I do know that it can be classified as delicious.
When the halwau-E aurd-E sujee is finished, it’s one consistent layer of deliciousness with a great texture and density. The rosewater gives off a floral aftertaste that, at first, was really hard for any of my guests to place. Once I told them the ingredients, they said that the sensations happening in their mouths made total sense.
This dessert was definitely something different for my family to try, and they were a bit torn on their reviews. I, along with my mom and my aunt, loved the dessert. We thought that it was something different and interesting, and we liked that it was sweet without being overpowering. My dad, a classic meat and potatoes kinda guy, said he’d rather stick with his Reese’s. I did leave him alone with the pan for the weekend, though, and when I came home, the leftovers were almost gone. We’ll let that speak for itself.
Either way, I think you should try it. It’ll be an adventure, and one I’m pretty sure you’ll end up enjoying. If you do, let me know in the comments how it goes! What do you think of Afghan food?
Halwau-E Aurd-E Sujee (Semolina Sweetmeat)
Halwau-E Aurd-E Sujee is an Afghan dessert consisting primarily of semolina, ghee and sugar. It is flavored with cardamom and rosewater and topped with pistachios and almonds. It is a soft-textured dessert with an understated yet sweet flavor. Each bit contains a delicious hint of floral aroma.
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup ghee
- 1 cup semolina flour
- 1/4 cup pistachio nuts
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1-2 tsp rosewater to taste
- 1/2-1 tsp ground cardamom to taste
- additional pistchios or almonds to decorate
Combine sugar and 2 cups water in a saucepan. Stir occasionally over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to a boil, then boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat ghee in a deep saucepan. Add the semolina and stir continuously for 5 minutes. Do not allow semolina to color.
Pour the sugar/water mixture into the semolina mixture, stirring constantly. When combined, reduce the heat and leave to cook, uncovered, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. The mixture should be thick but still moist at this stage.
Stir in the nuts, and the cardamom and rosewater to taste.
Cover the pan with a cloth, put the lid on tightly, and leave over low heat for 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and leave the pan undisturbed for 10 minutes.
Spread the mixture on a flat, lightly oiled platter and decorate it with nuts.
Cut into triangles like in the photograph. Serve warm or cold.
Recipe from The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook by Tess Mallos.