/Tahini Helva

Tahini Helva


So I’m in Eğirdir, a city around 100 km north of Antalya, that is very famous for its lake, and by consequence, fish. But low and behold I find myself eating very little of it. This is not a complaint, just an observation. Having expressed a love of Turkish food and especially köfte, Ibrahim, the owner of the pension I am staying in, took me to Meşhur Köfteci in the center of town for lunch yesterday. This little hole-in-the-wall has two items on the menu: köfte (obvious from the name, which means famous meatball maker) and tahini helva (a sweet sesame paste, a bit less obvious from the name). For 2TL (about a euro), we were served 100 grams of creamy tahini helva and a generous helping of crusty bread with which to eat the spread, which is not quite as thick as peanut butter. Half the fun was watching Güngör Gül, owner, chef, and one man show, use a great wooden spoon to ladle the helva from a big pot onto a little silver plate balanced on a scale. As Ibrahim ate his share (less, actually), in a controlled manner, I made a scarpetta, slopping up this creamy delight like it was going out of style. My Turkish isn’t great, but I gathered Güngör was pleased I was enjoying it so much. So if you ever find yourself in Eğirdir, just look for this storefront in the center, or ask for Güngör Gül the famous meatball maker. You will not be disappointed. Trust me on this.

2016-01-07T14:37:53+00:00 August 12th, 2009|Categories: Sweets & Dessert, Turkish Cuisine|4 Comments


  1. JP August 13, 2009 at 1:14 am - Reply

    This looks so good! I just bought (canned) tahini to try my hand at making baba ganouj. Im sure the tahini helva was from scratch – will have to research it. How do you always get a local to take you to their fav ‘hole in the wall’? There must be an art to that!

  2. Akila August 14, 2009 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    Wow, this is very interesting. So, they just make tahini and you eat it straight? That is definitely a must-try when we hopefully make our way to Turkey.

    • Katie August 14, 2009 at 7:01 pm - Reply

      ahhh how it is done is a secret. all i could get out of the man was that there is tahini and sugar involved. how it becomes liquidy is beyond me. butter, perhaps? god i hope not. i ate a ton of it! that would explain the chest pains, though…

  3. Tahini Ekmek September 1, 2009 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    […] in tahini ekmek (a sweet bread made with tahini). You may already have read about my love of tahini helva, and this new use of sesame paste was intriguing. It would not be until the day Ramadan started […]

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