Warm sesame pudding

Warm sesame pudding

Sıcak helva

By
From
Istanbul
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Steven Joyce

Helva is a sweet paste made from sesame seeds and is easy to find in Middle Eastern stores, sold in tubs. It has a distinctive sesame flavour and texture, a little like very thick nougat. The saying in Turkey is that the fish in your stomach will only know that they’re dead when you eat some helva and so this is a dessert often sold in fish restaurants. I learned to make it from Olga Tikhonova Irez, a Russian who gave up her corporate career to teach visitors to Istanbul about the city’s incredible food culture and who took me on a wonderful food tour of Kadikoy, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
450g plain helva
1 apple, peeled, cored and coarsely grated
1 lemon, finely zested and juiced
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
butter or oil, for greasing

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Mix the helva, apple, lemon zest and juice together in a bowl and mash with a fork. Add the milk and beat to form a fairly smooth, thick paste.
  2. Pour the helva mixture into a lightly greased, large, shallow ovenproof dish, so that it is no more than 2 cm thick. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and bake for 10 minutes until hot through, then preheat the grill to medium.
  3. Place the dish under the grill and allow the top to brown and bubble, watching all the time as it can burn very quickly. Serve immediately.
Tags:
Istanbul
Turkey
Turkish
Rebecca
Seal
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