½ kilo wheat, hulled and sieved
1 teacupful raisins
1 teacupful walnuts, finely chopped
1 teacupful pomegranate seeds
1 teacupful semolina
30 almonds, blanched
1 coffee-cupful parsley, very finely chopped
Boil the wheat in plenty of water. Drain and spread on a kitchen cloth to dry completely. Put it in a large bowl and mix well with the raisins, walnuts, parsley and pomegranate seeds.
When the mixture is homogeneous, add half the semolina, after first toasting it lightly in a frying pan.
Empty the mixture onto a large plate or individual plates for each guest. Press it with a spatula so that it is cohesive.
Sprinkle with the rest of the semolina and then with icing sugar passed through a sieve. Scatter the almonds on top.
I don’t know whether you’ll dare try this recipe, but to exorcise this sweet’s association with death, let me propose another version.
Boil the wheat and when you test it to see if it’s ready, throw away most of the water and leave just enough to cover the cereal. Add all the ingredients and 5 soup-spoonfuls of sugar. Continue simmering over a low heat until the mixture is glutinous.
Empty into individual bowls and put in the fridge. Don’t hesitate. Go ahead and make it. Primitive tastes, full and primeval. The first sweetmeat in the world. Wheat, pomegranate, honey.
No need to cross yourself. This is a sweetmeat too, and moreover, one of the best. Because it has become associated with death and mourning it’s rarely if ever made at home.
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