Tel Helvası Recipe: Mastering the Art of Turkish String Halva

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  • Serving: 8
  • Prep time: 45 m
  • Cook time: 30 m
  • Ready in: 3:20 h
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Delve into the rich tapestry of Turkish desserts with this authentic Tel Helvası recipe, a traditional sweet treat that’s as fascinating to make as it is to savor. Known for its distinctive stringy texture and captivating taste, Tel Helvası is a testament to the ingenuity of Ottoman cuisine, now a cherished delicacy in modern kitchens. Whether you’re an avid baker or a curious foodie, creating this halva at home offers a unique opportunity to engage with Turkey’s culinary heritage and impress guests with a dessert that’s truly a conversation starter.


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Nutritional Values

2005 kcal
6.5 g
98.1 g
281.4 g
3.3 g
200 g


  • Instructions

    1-Begin by preparing the sugar syrup. Combine sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and simmer until it reaches a syrupy consistency. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • 2-In a separate pan, melt the butter over low heat. Gradually add the flour, continuously stirring for about 20-25 minutes, until it becomes a light golden color and emits a nutty aroma.

  • 3-Slowly pour the sugar syrup into the flour mixture while stirring constantly. The mixture will start to thicken and pull away from the sides of the pan.

  • 4-Add the tahini and cook for a few more minutes until well incorporated.

  • 5-Remove the mixture from heat and allow it to cool slightly until manageable to handle.

  • 6-On a clean surface, take small portions of the mixture and stretch it out with your hands, folding and pulling to create strings. Repeat the process until the entire mixture forms thin, string-like strands.

  • 7-Once the halva has the desired stringy texture, mold it into a dome shape or a loaf and sprinkle with ground pistachios.

  • 8-Allow the Tel Helvası to set for a few hours before serving.

  • Conclusion

    This Tel Helvası recipe captures the essence of traditional Turkish confectionery, offering a symphony of textures and a delicate sweetness that's sure to delight. Perfect for festive occasions or as a refined end to a meal, Tel Helvası is not just a dessert but an experience that pays homage to centuries-old culinary traditions. With each bite, enjoy a moment of cultural immersion and the pleasure of a dessert that has stood the test of time.

Smart Tips

  • Constant Attention: Keep stirring the flour mixture to prevent burning and ensure an even roast.

  • Syrup Consistency: Achieve the perfect syrup consistency by using the cold water test—drop a little syrup into cold water; it should form a soft ball.

  • Stretch Gently: When stretching the halva, be gentle to maintain the integrity of the strings.

  • Cooling Time: Allow the mixture to cool just enough to handle; if it's too cool, it won't stretch properly.

  • Texture Tricks: For best results, pull and fold the mixture repeatedly to create finer strings.

  • Serving Suggestion: Cut into slices or break off pieces once set, as traditional serving styles vary.

  • Storage: Keep in an airtight container to retain texture and prevent it from drying out.

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