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Quick and Easy Exotic Turkish Dessert Recipe - Irmik Helvasi

Updated on June 5, 2016
Irmik Helvasi
Irmik Helvasi | Source

Irmik Helvasi is an Easy and Exotic Turkish Dessert

This is my husband's version of the Turkish dessert recipe for Irmik Helvasi that he remembers so fondly from his childhood in Turkey. To remind himself of those happy, family times he often makes this gorgeous dish for our family - we love it! A great favourite with everyone.

Based on semolina, (incredibly!), it's not expensive and is one of those store cupboard puddings that you can make at the drop of a hat. Like all my recipes, it's quick and easy to make (I guess about ten minutes), foolproof, uses only a few simple ingredients and tastes delicious.

Ingredients for Irmik Helvasi

  • 500g semolina
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 100g butter
  • 300g sugar
  • 400ml boiled milk (approx)
  • 200g currants or raisins
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Pine kernals (optional)
  • Desiccated coconut for decoration (optional)



1. Melt the butter in a pan and add the semolina. Stir and cook gently for about 5 minutes until it changes colour slightly.

2. Add the cinnamon, almonds, pine kernels if using and dried fruit, stirring all the time

3. Add the sugar. If you have a sweet tooth, then add a little more sugar to taste

4. Add the boiled milk and allow to simmer gently and absorb the moisture. It should be of a fairly stiff consistency but this is a very forgiving recipe and a little firmer or softer doesn't really matter. If your is too runny, add more ground almonds, if too stiff, add a little more milk. Remember, it will stiffen up a bit in the fridge.

5. Mould the mixture into whatever form you like, (you can put it into a dish of some sort, but my husband just makes a mound on a plate), and decorate with a sprinkle of cinnamon and the desiccated coconut.

6. Serve warm or cold. We like it best well chilled when it cuts like cake. You could serve it with toppings, custard, ice cream but we eat it, (too much of it in my case), just as it is.

You'll find lots more recipes, including this one, in my on-line recipe book The Les Trois Chenes Recipe Book

Turkish Desserts are Full of Eastern Promise - Why not find out more about the sweet story of Turkish cuisine?

Sherbet and Spice: The Complete Story of Turkish Sweets and Desserts
Sherbet and Spice: The Complete Story of Turkish Sweets and Desserts

Turkish sweets and desserts are so delicious and many are very easy too make. Why not find out more about exotic Turkish cuisine?


You Can Serve Irmik Helvasi in Many Different Ways - Simply presented on a plate


We serve our dessert very simply, but you can present it in many different ways. Put it into a buttered mould of any shape and turn it out. Serve it as a loaf and slice it. Put it into a flan dish.

Equally, there's plenty of scope for decoration. My husband is an eater and not a decorator so he's happy to sprinkle a bit of grated coconut and cinnamon over. Why not bring a woman's touch to the decoration and let your imagination run wild?


Turkish Dolma are the Perfect Starter to Go With Your Irmik Helvasi Dessert

Easy and fun to make

Yaprak Sarma (stuffed grapevine leaves to you and me) is the perfect starter to go with this dessert. If you have access to vine leaves then you have a fabulous free food resource!

The leaves are stuffed with rice, meat or fruit and are easy to make, economical and give any meal an exotic touch.

Stuffed Grape Vine Leaves Turkish Dolma Recipe

Hagia Sophia Istanbul
Hagia Sophia Istanbul | Source

Turkey is Rich in Culture

And Turkish food is world famous

Turkey is a wonderful country, huge, varied and very beautiful. It has a long history and rich culture which is reflected in the cuisine. The streets are lined with market stalls selling fruit and vegetables havrvested that morning. The ingredients are fresh and the emphasis on vegetables means that the dishes are healthy and slimming - so long as you don't indulge in too many puddings and cakes. There are many regional specialities and each town and area of Turkey has it's own distinctive traditional dishes. Even if you don't travel, try to seek out some of the many restaurants cooking food from home.

If you can't pay a visit yourself, why not try to produce some of these dishes yourself. They're often simple and so delicious.

Will You Be Making Irmik Helvasi? - Are you an adventurous cook?

Have I persuaded you to try this Turkish pudding?

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© 2011 Barbara Walton

Do Leave Your Comments - I'd love to hear from you

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    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @Brandi Bush: Good and filling. Thanks for dropping by mamabush.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @Virginia Allain: The really good thing is that there isn't much 'cooking'. Let me know if you give it a try.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @JoshK47: Quick and easy is the key point (after delicious)! Thanks for leaving a message Josh

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Sounds quite interesting! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I seldom make desserts but this might be one that tempts me to get "cookin."

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      I was already I'm starved! This looks so good! :)

    • profile image

      burntchestnut 5 years ago

      I like reading about other cultures and especially about different foods.

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 5 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Irmik Helvasi looks good and easy to make. I think it could be good with some fresh cream on top...but I love fresh cream and would put it on anything :)

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @TonyPayne: Thanks for calling by and leaving a comment and blessing, Tony.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Never heard of this before, but it sounds really good. Nicely done, blessed.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 6 years ago

      Mmm a winning combination, cinnamon, sugar, and boiled milk! What other Turkish desserts are there? I'm only familiar with kebabs.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

      @delia-delia: Many thanks, d-artist, for xvisiting and commenting. Let me know how it goes.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

      @SandyMertens: Thanks for providing the opportunity, Sandy.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

      @trustytraveltip1: Thanks, trusty_travel_tips!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

      @GreatWestern: Thanks for dropping by GreatWestern and for leaving a comment.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      This desserts looks heavenly and I must try making it...thanks for sharing!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Looks yummy! Thanks for adding this to my Recipes, Reviews and Food Collection lens.

    • SaintFrantic profile image

      SaintFrantic 6 years ago

      Haven tried this for long time.Thanks for the great recipe.

    • trustytraveltip1 profile image

      trustytraveltip1 6 years ago

      Mmmm yum!

    • profile image

      GreatWestern 6 years ago

      Thanks for this recipe!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

      @CruiseReady: Thank you CruiseReady for your comments. I wouldn't have come across it if it wasn't for my Turkish husband. Love it because it is simple, quick, foolproof and you can make it with store cupboard ingredients. You're absolutely right about the almonds.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      I had never heard of Irmik Helvasi before finding this lens on facebook, but it really does sound quite good - Anything with almonds int always sounds good to me!