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a Greek dessert known as halva on a cake stand served with a rhubarb compote

Halva with a Rhubarb Compote

A traditional Greek dessert known as halvas gets enhanced with a rhubarb compote.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Modern Greek
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 492kcal
Author Peter G


For the rhubarb compote:

  • 500 g rhubarb cleaned, leaves removed, stalks chopped into even 3 cm chunks
  • 125 g brown sugar
  • 1 orange zested
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the halva:

  • 125 g butter unsalted
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup walnuts shelled
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 orange zested
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves


For the rhubarb compote:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 deg C.
  • Place the rhubarb, orange zest and cinnamon in a baking dish and stir everything until well combined.
  • Cover your baking dish and cook for 45 mins - until the rhubarb is soft and jam like in consistency.
  • Allow to cool before serving.

For the halva:

  • Melt the butter over a medium high heat in a saucepan. Add the semolina and continue stirring until the semolina turns into a lovely toasted, golden colour. Do not over cook this as it will taste bitter.
  • Add the sugar, spices and nuts and give everything a good stir. Add the water very gently and stir continuously.
  • The halva is ready when it has thickened and comes away from the sides of the pan.
  • Pour into a 16cm large dariole mould and cover with a plate until it has cooled slightly and set (I did this for 10 mins).
  • Turn onto a plate and serve it up with some rhubarb compote.


Any semolina will do. You can also substitute the butter with olive oil.


Serving: 1serve | Calories: 492kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g