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Tamina | Algerian Semolina Spoon Dessert

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
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First things first – THANK YOU for the overwhelming response to my comeback to blogging. As many of you who know me or follow me know, the last 2 years were very challenging for my family and I. I, especially due to issues with my health. But elhamdullah choukrou we were blessed with another new little addition, whom we've named Meriem.

A traditional sweet served to new mothers and to family, friends and neighbours to celebrate the birth of a child in Algeria is "Tamina". Tamina is an ultra semolina sweet that's made from toasted semolina, fragant orange blossom honey and fresh butter. This dessert is also served on Mouloud, the celebratory birthday of our Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) as the 3 main ingredients represent semolina: sustenance, honey: sweetness of love for each other and the butter: rich blessings from our Creator. The traditional Tamina is made with fresh butter and honey, but due to ecomonical reasons many have replaced butter with margarine and honey with sugar syrup.

This dish is prepared in large quanities at the birth of child, as offering it to guests is an Algerian way of saying 'we have a newborn child, please celebrate with us'. Mothers and mother-n-laws of the new mother lovingly toasted vast amounts of semolina, in preparation for the massive crowds that will arrive to see the baby. Toasted semolina can stay for months, and thrown together last minute for when last minute, unexpected guests pop up.

Many will differe to how soft or hard tamina should be, but also what flavouring are best. In fact there are 4 different taminas from different regions of Algeria. Tamina el Ghars also called "Maakra" (in the South) "R'fiss Tmar" and in the Oran region "Kaabouche" is a version of tamina that uses toasted semolina, dates and butter. Halwa smid or Tamina Beïda  translated as "white tamina"  is preparing in the eastern region of Algeria and its based on lightly toasted semolina  giving  its white color, Tamina ellouz is prepared in Constatine. This preparation uses ground almonds, rose water, milk and honey. And finally the well known preparation that is made from Algiers to Chlef, tamina h'rour. Traditionally h'rour is a spice mixture that consists of cinnamon, ginger, galangal, nutmeg, allspice and cloves was used. Modern cooks have replaced it with cinnamon and even other flavourings such a helva turc, coconut and almonds.

Today, I'm presenting my family's favourite tamina is made the traditional way using only  all natural ingredients,but also with the addition of halva turc and coconut. Tamina while super easy to make, does take some care patience as you do need to toast, not burn the semolina and also you need to correctly blend the ingredients to obtain the right consistency. I blend large and medium grain semolina is mixed, then very slowly toasted until deep golden colour. The toasting of the semolina releases the natural nuttiness of the grain. Soft, spoon coating tamina is preferred with us also. No runny tamina or hard tamina. It's also good to remember as the tamina cools, it hardens.

Tamina is also special in that the care that goes into decorating it almost is as important as the taste. Each cook makes their own decor uses various nuts, seeds, dried fruit or candies. For my daughter's tamina I decorated hers with 3 flowers, 2 large and 1 small representing us, the parents and her the little lovely flower.

The basic method is 2 measures semolina to every 1 measure butter and 1 measure honey. But below I've used actual  measures to make it easier.


algerian semolina  Spoon Dessert 
A fragrant yet ultra sweet Algerian honeyed semolina spoon sweet

drinks | serves 4 - 6



with mint tea or coffee.  

‣ total of 500g semolina ۞ 
‣ 250g - 1 cup butter
‣ 250g - ¾ cup orange blossom water honey (acacia works too)
‣ 2 -3 cap fulls of orange flower water
‣ 100g - ½ cup dessicated coconut (optional) 
‣ 1 tsp of vanilla
‣ 100g - ¼ cup Halva turc

Decoration (optional):
‣ sugar pearls, ground cinnamon, toasted nuts, coconut, halva turc, etc

     ۞ I use a combination of semole demi-gross and semoule moyen. You can certainly use whatever non-flour grade semolina or cream of wheat you have on hand.

    IN a large sauté place the honey and butter. On a low heat, allow them to melt together. Once melted, turn off the heat and add in the orange blossom water.

    THEN  in a large frying pan, gently stir and toast the semolina. This will take at least 5 minutes. And I would advise doing it in batches as to make sure all the grains are toasted, not burned. Once toasted, pour half the mixture into the honey-butter mixture. Stir to blend, then add the second batch of semolina. The tamina should be runny at this point. Crumble the halva turc into the tamina. And also add half the coconut. Stir to blend in. If the tamina is soft but still stlightly runny, it's done. If it's still very runny, add the remaining coconut. If you don't wish to use coconut, just allow the tamina to set a little longer before serving. Once mixed, pour the tamina into your desired serving dish and decorate.

    You may need a glass of water after eating, as this dessert is ultra-sweet.

    Any leftover tamina can be stored in a container in your cabinet for up to a week or longer in the fridge. To serve again, just simply reheat on the stove, adding a small splash of orange blossom water, so it doesn't burn. Or simply reheat in the microwave. 

     CATEGORIES:  Algerian sweet, algerian, 

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      • Looking for  another dessert to enjoy? Try this Besboussa recipe.
      •  Or check out this traditional Makrout recipe, it'll go so nicely with this coffee.


          Below are the Algerian cakes I made for my baby shower, called "sebaa" here in Algeria or in the Islamic tradition "aqiqa"

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