Pine Nut Halva – A Turkish influenced Breakfast

Breakfast bores me. I’m not talking about fabulous weekend pancakes or laid-back brunches. I’m talking about the daily grind. The stuff you eat before running to work and getting on with the day. The morning fuel.

The fact that I refer to food as fuel shames me!

See, I’m one of those people who needs a good 1 and 1/2 hours to wake up my stomach. In the morning, I get up, make some strong coffee, browse the net, iron the day’s outfit, grab my lunchbox and rush off to work. I normally give myself an hour for all this. No way I can fit breakfast into that. And no way my stomach would want to eat anything at that point.

So breakfast is an office thing. Where we have a microwave and ever-disappearing cutlery. The uncertainty of whether I’ll find a small spoon this morning or not is one of my daily thrills. Breakfast in the office has to be filling. It needs to satisfy my, by then rambling, stomach. It also needs to keep me going til lunchtime.

For a while it was porridge. Those Oat so Simple ones with Golden Syrup flavour. Delicious. But… the whole office knows I’m eating it, since the smell just hangs over the room like a volcano ash cloud. So in respect for my colleagues, I switched to granola.

That lasted for one morning. I hated that stuff. Dry, boring, not my thing. Next experiment: yoghurt. Yoghurt with a few granola sprinkles (gotta get through that massive granola bag now!), a few dried cranberries and a bad ass portion of honey sqeezed on top. Yum. But… I’m hungry again after an hour. Damn.

So I decided to go off the beaten breakfast track and try something new…

Whilst brainstorming for the next best breakfast, I remembered this amazing Semonlina Halva cake I had eaten in Istanbul. I didn’t have it for breakfast, but for desert at a local Kofte shop. I really loved its nutty flavour and  caramel sweetness.

I had eaten it quite early on during my stay  in Istanbul, and I really wanted a slice on my last day before leaving. But, things didn’t pan out that way. Before making may way to the airport, I sat down in this Kofte shop, ready to tuck into some nice meatballs followed by delicious Semolina Halva cake. But when I opened my wallet I realized that I had only enough money to pay for the Kofte! No Halva! Damn! Really, I should start turning on the accountant in me and actually monitor what I spend and how much is left. Alas, it was too late for that. I left Turkey without ever tasting that delicious Halva again…

But not so fast!

I came across this amazing post by Cenk from Cafe Fernando – Semolina Halva in a bowl (and not as a cake). Hell was I excited! The prospect of eating Halva again thrilled me so much that I ran home after work and immediately got cooking. And it didn’t disappoint, it was amazing! Sweet, nutty, and totally satisfying.

However, I ended up with 5 bowls in the fridge, wondering when to find the time and belly space to eat all that! So, I thought, what the heck, this is the next days’ breakfast!

Since cake is a bit decadent for breakfast, I had never considered eating Semolina Halva for breakfast. But since this didn’t look like a cake, it now had the ok to pass as breakfast in my books.

And boy, did this breakfast rock my world! And I hope it will rock yours too!

May 21, 2010