Tamina – An Algerian sweet of Toasted Semolina with Butter and Honey.
I thought it was about time I updated the photos and recipe for this traditional Algerian sweet.
Tamina is usually made and shared amongst family, friends, neighbours when celebrating the birth of a newborn.
It’s the first home-made Algerian sweet I ever tasted. Back when I visited Algeria in 2008, one of our neighbours in the tower block we were staying in, recently had a newborn and thus we were gifted Tamina.
I remember how pretty it was decorated with cinnamon and sugared almonds, you can really go to town on its decorating, unlike me! But when it comes down to eating, it’s really as simple as grabbing a spoon and digging in.
I’m updating the recipe because since I posted the recipe almost 3 years ago I’ve improved it, with some cutbacks on the butter and honey and adding a splash of olive oil to compensate. It’s still rich and sweet but less teeth-itching sweet and greasy.
Unlike desserts such as semolina pudding here in the UK, this dessert is all about that gritty but pleasant texture of coarse semolina. By toasting in a dry frying pan, you bring out lovely nuttiness as well as cooking it, before coating the grains in melted butter and honey. It’s really such an easy recipe.
Here in the UK Winter once Tamina cools it gets hard, so the solution to this is warming it in a microwave for 20-30 seconds or in a moderate oven for 2-3 minutes therefore, it’s important you serve it in microwavable or oven-proof shallow dishes / side plates. Instead of a few dishes filled to the brim, I divided my Tamina between these 4 shallow bowls, 2 ramekins and about 3 saucers. My husband wasn’t best pleased with my rationing, but my efforts weren’t in vain, the Tamina lasted a day longer than it usually does.
*Important update*: allow the hot ingredients to cool to room temperature before combining. This will ensure the tamina stays soft in-shaa-allah. Failing that, reheat the tamina in a warm oven or in microwave to soften.
Tamina: Algerian Toasted Semolina & Honey Dessert
- 500 grams extra coarse semolina
- 200 grams unsalted butter
- 200 grams runny honey
- splash of extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoon orange blossom water
- cinnamon, for sprinkling
- sugared almonds*optional
- In a large frying pan over medium-high heat toast the semolina, always stirring and gently shaking the pan to ensure the semolina doesn’t burn. I do this in two batches and it takes about 5-10 minutes per batch. Carefully pour the semolina onto a baking sheet. Set aside.
- In the same frying pan melt butter, stir in honey, olive oil and orange blossom water until evenly distributed. Return semolina to the pan and stir until evenly coated.
- Spoon into serving plates, shallow dishes. Allow to cool a little before decorating with cinnamon etc. Serve warm or at room temperature. If you leave it to cool and it hardens, simply warm individual portions in a microwave on full power for 20-30 seconds or 2-3 minutes in a moderate oven.