Semolina Helva/Irmik Helva

Semolina Helva

This light dessert has been around for more than many 100 years among Turks. It was very common during the Ottoman Empire too. It has been and still is a custom to prepare it when someone in the household passes away and share small bowls with neighbours. However it is a favorite among many so nobody waits for someone to pass away so they can prepare this delight and it is even served in restaurants.

I also want to draw your attention to the plate. It is from the birth of my mother, which is close to 80 years ago. It was bought to celebrate her birth and to serve sweets in it.

There is no secret about preparing this dessert, you just need some patience about mixing it to get brownish in the beginning. It takes about 30-40 minutes. You add the pinenuts and the semolina to the butter and mix until the pinenuts get brownish. And the rest is just a few more additions.

Some use just water, some just milk or some a combination of the two. Try and find out which one you like better. I prefer it with just water, but I don’t like milk too much, so you have to make up your own choice.

You can serve it together with a scoop of vanilla icecream. 

Enjoy.

Semolina Helva
Print Recipe
This helva is a very old custom that dates back to ancient times. It is one of the most common Ottoman delights. When some one passes away it is a custom to prepare this dessert and share a bowl with neighbours.
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 15 minutes
Semolina Helva
Print Recipe
This helva is a very old custom that dates back to ancient times. It is one of the most common Ottoman delights. When some one passes away it is a custom to prepare this dessert and share a bowl with neighbours.
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a deep pan.
  2. Add the semolina and the nuts. Heat must be below medium. Continuously stir for about 40 minutes with a wooden spoon until the nuts turn brownish. When the semolina slightly changes color as well close the heat.
  3. Add boiling milk and/or water slowly. Watch out it will splatter. Always stir in the same direction. Stir until the liquid has been absorbed. Which will happen very quickly.
  4. Add the sugar and stir until it is absorbed.
  5. Cover with two paper towels and set aside for about 15 minutes.
  6. Serve warm or cold. Sprinkle cinnamon if desired.
  7. May also be served with deserts such as baklawa, kazandibi or with ice cream.
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