Semolina is a golden flour derived from wheat, it is used around the world in baked goods, sweet and savoury preparations. It is high in Protein, fibre and vitamin Bs.
Summers, as a child were spent at grandmothers’ home in the old quarters of Damascus. Back then, it was trendy for children to have a BASTA, which translates to a SPREAD. It consisted of many items of sweets, balloons, kazouza (cola) and a dessert made with semolina (mamonieh) which is cooked semolina cooled on a tray and cut into diamond shapes. We would spend the whole day sitting on a little stool with a tiny table and our goods would be spread on a wooden board. Most times we would end up eating half of our stock, but it kept us busy and entertained.
Semolina is brilliant for making desserts, easy to work with and cheap. This dessert can belong to any Mediterranean country as I am sure many of you will claim it, but what is more important for me is that it is really healthy, easy and quick to prepare. At 141 calories per portion, you can't go wrong.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Start to finish: 50 minutes
baking: 30 minutes
For the pudding:
1-litre milk, 1% low-fat
1/3 cup semolina flour
1/3 cup rice flour
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/3 cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon butter
For the sheets:
1/4 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar, to caramelise
· Preheat oven 180 c fan setting
· Put the pudding ingredients together in a pot on medium heat and continuously whisk until thickened but not too thick, finish with 1 tablespoon of butter.
· Butter 3 or 4 sheets of phyllo and lay on a pan Size 30x35 cm.
· Pour the filling and fold the tops of phyllo over then cover with2 more buttered sheets and make sure they tuck under.
· Bake for 30 minutes until the surface is browned.
· Remove and sprinkle the top with sugar and caramelise it with a torch gun but be careful as the phyllo pastry can burn -I am guilty of that- then finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon powder.
· Serve hot or cold.
· You can make individual parcels by putting 1 tablespoon of the semolina into long straps of buttered phyllo and folding you as you do for samosa. It is perfect for parties.
· The semolina when baked expands and sometimes spills from the sides so you can put less if you are serving it for guests and make sure it has room to grow.
· I sprinkle sugar on top to reduce the calories and, but it is delicious with Arab style orange blossom syrup and pistachio nuts.
Per Serving: 141 Calories; 6g Fat (38.9% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 16mg Cholesterol; 71mg Sodium.