A Sweet Armenian Breakfast

Banirov Helva The word “halawa” (­ حلاوة) in Arabic means “sweetness,” while the word “halwa” (حلوى) means “sweets” or “candy.” The word “halva” comes from the Arabic word “halwa” – the root word is “hilwa” meaning sweet.

This refers to many types of dense, sweet confections. “Banir” in Armenian means cheese so this receipe is semolina-based halawa with cheese, an Armenian specialty.

I like to serve this to my family for breakfast.



. 50 g butter

. 1 cup semolina (large grained)

. 1 cup sugar

. 2 ½ cups water

. 200g mozzarella (fresh is better but dry can also be used)

. ½ cup pine nuts

. Cinnamon powder



Melt the butter in a casserole dish without overheating. Once melted, add semolina to wet completely with the butter.

In parallel, make sugar syrup by dissolving the sugar into the water over a medium heat and bringing it to a rolling boil.

Then, add it to the semolina mixture and mix well.

Finally, beat mozzarella in bits into semolina until texture is elastic.

Serve warm with toasted pine nuts and sprinkles of cinnamon.