Turkish Treat: Helva, a tasty dessert | Desserts and Sweet Temptations | DW | 05.09.2003
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Desserts and Sweet Temptations

Turkish Treat: Helva, a tasty dessert

We learn how to make the Turkish delicacy helva from a family that specializes in it.


Helva is a tasty dessert enjoyed throughout the former Ottoman Empire. It is a thick blend of flour, butter and sugar.

Ingredients: (4 servings)
butter, 250 grams
water, 50 ml.
sugar, 10 tablespoons
wheat flour, 100 - 150 grams
oil to grease


To prepare Helva, heat butter in a heavy pan until it is hot. Add flour, reduce heat and stir frequently until the mix changes colour to golden, thickens and becomes fragrant.
Add sugar to one glass of water and bring to a boil. Let flour cool slightly, then add the sugary water and stir well. If the mix is not thick, heat for 1-2 minutes but not longer. Pour into an oiled form, allow to cool and cut into cubes.
Our tip:
You can also make a richer Helva by toasting 30-50 grams of pine nuts in the butter before adding the flour, or by replacing part of the water by milk.