Halawet El Smeed | Semolina Pudding with Mastic

Halawet Smeed translates to Sweet Semolina and is a very popular traditional sweet dish of the Levant countries - says this South Indian stay-at-home novice food blogger! :-D Halawet Smeed is a pudding that is traditionally made with just semolina, sugar and water and flavoured with mastic and orange blossom water. 
Halawet El Smeed | Semolina Pudding | Beets

Really! sometimes I wonder why I am so into middle east cuisine than my own? But honestly, I don't even make much of my cuisine even for our daily meals. Such a shame! I need to ponder on that more and find WHY? until then let me take you through this creamy dessert.

Remember my birthday cake? Right after I made that Beet Caraway Chocolate cake, I made a small batch of Halawet Smeed with the leftover beet water to mimic Sawsan's pink kraiza. Whenever I try a "foreign" food, I like to do some reading to know more about the dish, the traditional way it is made and had, the variations, time of the year it is made, the occasions, etc. because I have the time! LOL! Well, No, because I love to know more "behind the scenes" of these recipes. I did not do any of this when I first made Halawet Smeed or Kraiza as part of #mfbchallenge because Sawsan had a very personal beautiful story for it...

What is Halawet El Smeed?

Halawet Smeed is traditionally made with just fine semolina, sugar and water. I also found some versions with cheese, milk, crushed nuts and some that are served warm! Now, going by the name of the dish, there should be no cheese unless it is Halawet el Jibn (sweet cheese) which is another popular Arab dessert with clotted cheese rolled in a semolina dough. But who am I to judge?

As recipes always have room for enhancement, feel free to add milk, nuts, serve hot, warm, cold or make layers of this with cheese between each layer - there is no end to possibilities because we are talking about Semolina! :-) Semolina is one thing I never run out of after bananas. From savoury to sweet - there is nothing Semolina can't do. I have thought of starting a Semolina exclusive food blog too. Too ambitious? :-) And then we also have the bright colour of BEET!

Halawet El Smeed | Semolina Pudding | Beets

How is Halawet El Smeed prepared? 

Making this semolina pudding is super easy. All you need to do is dump all the ingredients into a deep pot, stir until thickens, pour into a tray and chill to have it cold or serve warm! That simple but results in melt in mouth deliciousness. 

I have flavoured this halawet with Orange Blossom water and the mastic gum that are waiting to be used. I was not sure if Mr F would like the idea of "pink" dessert, but he enjoyed it and asked for more. What I am sharing today is not very different from what I have already shared except for the colour and portion. So I thought I will put down the recipe here.

Halawet El Smeed | Semolina Pudding | Beets

Like I mentioned earlier in this post, I used the beet just to add natural colour and you don't really get the beet taste because the orange blossom water and the mastic cover it up. You can still make this with substituting the beet water with just plain water.

Halawet El Smeed | Semolina Pudding with Mastic


1/2 cup fine semolina
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups beet boiled water*
3 mastic beads crushed with a teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon Orange Blossom water or rose water or any flavour you like


  1. Add the semolina, beet water, sugar and the crushed mastic into a deep pot
  2. Cook over low to medium heat while stirring continuously until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil
  3. Stir in the orange blossom water and take the pudding off the heat
  4. Pour the pudding into any wide tray to about 1 cm thickness**
  5. Allow the pudding to cool down completely and then move it into the fridge for at least two hours
  6. Cut and serve cold as is or you can add some crushed nuts too
* If you remember, I used the water drained off the cooked beets that I had used for Beet Caraway Chocolate Birthday Cake. You can boil some chopped beets in water and drain off to use for this recipe. If you are not a beet fan, then just add some favourite food colour. You can also just replace this with plain water. 
** You can pour into individual serving cups or a brownie pan so you can cut them all into equal squares.

I cut a few squares you see here purely for the pics. Rest of it - we scooped right out of the pan!

Halawet El Smeed | Semolina Pudding | Beets

You will love to try these if you are a Semolina fan like me:


I would love to hear from you. If you have made this recipe then do leave a comment below. If you like this recipe then do share the recipe link on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchai so that I can see your creations!