Binnur's Turkish Cookbook - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Monday, April 18, 2005

Semolina Dessert

(Irmik Helvasi)

Click to enlarge
1 cup semolina flour
125 ml unsalted butter
2 tbsp pine nuts

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup milk

Cook the main ingredients on medium-low heat until golden brown in a large pot, constantly stirring. In another pot, mix the syrup ingredients until boiled. Pour the syrup very slowly into the pot with the semolina while stirring with a long wooden spoon. The mixture will be bubbly and will spit so be careful. Stir until the mixture leaves sides of the pot (it will become doughy), this shouldn't take more than a couple minutes.

Then place away from heat with the lid on, wait for 5 minutes and put in a bowl, leveled. When cooled, put it on a flat plate upside down. Serve in slices. You can put some chocolate sauce on top, if you like.



At 4:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add a little cinnamon.

To break the sweetness, poor some gin, cognac or liqueur on top, at last minute.

At 3:56 PM, Blogger Hungry Bird said...


My husband and I enjoyed this dessert in Istanbul this year. I made it last night for the first time when my mother-in-law came for dinner. I only used about 2/3 the sugar since we tend to like our desserts on the less sweet side.

We all loved it! When my mother-in-law, a tiny woman, agreed to take some of the leftover halvah home, I asked how much she would like. She said, "HALF!"

Thanks so much for this easy, quick, and delicious recipe.

By the way, I had no pinenuts, but had some fresh-off-the-tree black walnuts, which I toasted. Delicious!

At 6:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife grew up in Istanbul, and she makes this dessert and the irmik tatlasi using cream of wheat instead of semolina. I think that they are the same thing, just a different package. :-) Just thought folks would like to know that there is a cheaper alternative than the specialty food aisle.

At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking for another semolina recipe that possibly has saffron, honey and milk in it? I had it in Selcuk I think, and it was wonderful. It just looked like a serving of yellow wheat pudding! Any help would be great. Oh, there is also another dessert that was called "chicken" was like a formed pudding...

At 9:49 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Turkish cuisine has verity of Dairy Desserts:) I am going to post more recipes in the future:)
I've already posted easy version of Tavukgogsu, which is under the Dairy Desserts section;

At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this and it was good.However, I think I may have needed to toast the semolina and nuts more in the pan. I seem to remember the smell is very strong as you cook this helva. I was worried I was going to burn it however. Your helva also looks darker than mine.I sauteed the ingredients for 30 or more min on low/medium and put in the syrup just as the nuts were about to start to toast.Any recommendations?thanks,Zeyneb

At 11:43 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Zeynep,
If you want your helva darker you can saute it a little longer. The nuts should be toasted, just don't burn them:) If you see any burning, take the pot off the stove immediately, stir it and pour the syrup. If you use Turkish semolina the smell and the taste will be as you remember back at home:)

At 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just made it. I grew up with irmik helva but i haven't had any for a long time. I also substitute some of the ingredients since i am diabetic and my daughter is vegetarian. I replaced sugar with sugar substitute,milk with natural Almond milk and butter with vegetable spread. It came out pretty good. As i type this blog here, it is almost consumed totally!!! thanks

At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merhaba Binnur semolina helvasi annem ben kucukken yapardi amma simdi ben nasil yapilir yardim edermisisiniz (basit)
metin :-)

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Ben de annemin tarifini yayinladim. Irmik helvasi, un helvasi gibi yapimi cok kolay ve de cok lezzetli. Yapmaya basladigin zaman, tarifin ne kadar kolay oldugunu sen de anlayacaksin:) Simdiden ellerine saglik!

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Anne said...

Hi Binnur, I seem to recall a helva recipe that you weresupposed to fluff up with a for when done, I can't seem to find it anymore, do you know which one I mean, thank you so much, annie

At 5:08 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Anne,
It is the same recipe. I place the helva in a bowl and leveled it. Skip this part it is going to be fluffy:)

At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I added cinnamon and raisins and used only water.was tasty


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