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Orange and coconut rice bars - Portakallı Pirinç Helvası

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For the rice bars
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 0.5 cup shredded coconut
  • 0.5 cup icing sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 0.5 orange, zested
  • butter to grease the pan
For the syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 0.5 cup of orange juice
  • 0.5 cup icing sugar
  • Cooking Time
    2 hours (including cooling time)
  • Serving
    Serves 8
  • Skill Level


This is a delicious Turkish sweet dish, by the name Portakallı Pirinç Helvası. I love coconut, so I thought it would be lovely to try this. Not difficult at all...
  1. Soak the rice in the boiling water for 10 mins
  2. In the meantime, add the milk and cold water to a pot on high heat, and allow to boil. Once it boils, add the drained rice and reduce the heat to medium. Leave to cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice becomes tender (this can take 15-20 mins)
  3. Add the shredded coconut and icing sugar to the rice mixture, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 35 mins
  4. In a small bowl, melt the butter then wait a little for it to cool. Add the eggs and whisk well.  Mix in 1/3 of the almonds and the orange zest
  5. Grease a deep oven proof dish with the butter. Spread 1/3 of the almonds on the bottom.
  6. Mix half of the egg mixture with the rice mixture, then add the rice mixture over the almonds in the oven proof dish. Use a spoon to smooth the surface and to push down the mixture to make it more compact
  7. Add the remaining egg mixture on top, and ensure it is all evenly spread. Bake for 20 mins in the oven on 180 degrees Celsius, then grill it for a further 5-10 mins or until the surface is golden brown
  8. Whilst baking, prepare the syrup by adding the vanilla extract, orange juice and icing sugar in a small pot, and bringing to a boil. Once it boils leave for 3 mins, then place it over the rice mixture once it comes out of the oven. Use a tooth pick to poke holes in the rice mixture to allow them to absorb the syrup more. 
  9. Sprinkle over the remaining almonds, then leave the mixture to cool before cutting into bars and serving

Lovely easy sweet dessert, which you can make in advance and serve whenever needed. I would recommend you all to try it out...so delicious mashAllah! Enjoy! 


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