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May 3, 2009 11:35 AM

Turkish dessert (saray helvasi) in NYC

A Turkish friend once brought me a dessert/sweet back from Turkey which I believe is called 'saray helvasi' (note: it is NOT 'Turkish delight'). It's cut in a parallelogram shape and is white in color, made with pistachio. It's dry, slightly sweet, and very light and flaky...nearly melts in your mouth. I've seen it online on Turkish food websites (usually comes pre-packaged, in a box), but I haven't been able to find it anywhere here in the city. Help??

Here is a link with a photo of it:

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  1. I don't know how helpful this is but there have sprung up a couple/few Turkish grocery/mixed dry goods stores out in Brooklyn, near the King's Highway stop on the Q/B. There's one right under the train station and another one or two between the station and E 18-19th Sts. A couple of the Russian places have started stocking Turkish products too - presumably there's a growing Turk population around there somewhere these days? - but probably wouldn't have the sweets.

    I'd start at the one under the train station. If they don't have it, they might be willing/able to direct you elsewhere? Maybe the store near Memo Shishkebob, I think it's between E18th & 19th? They seem to have a lot of sweets/candies but I've only gone in once or twice, looking for specific things, so my impression of the place is pretty vague.

    1. So this isn't exactly on point, but there's an Indian sweet called Soan Papdi (soanpapri) in Bengali, which sounds exactly like what you're describing. It's almost floss-like, flaky, melts in the mouth. It's usually sold in cubes, and you can find packages of it in South Asian grocery stores. If you're unable to find the saray helvasi, this might be something to try.

      1. They might have this at Kalustyan's (123 Lexington Ave). I've seen a few kinds of helva/halvah there.

        1. Check with Gulluoglu on Coney Island Ave (between Quentin and P); they're an excellent Turkish coffee/dessert house that also has a variety of sweets.

          1. hi schmemecktsgut
            I m a Turrkish girl and I know this can bake at is very easy to bake.we bake at home this halva.this is the recipe with pictures and in English..
            I couldn't link to blog..