Chef's Recipes

Stanbuli's tahini parfait with golifa

Sweet and savoury combine in this tahini parfait, with golifa to add a Turkish-Cypriot kick to a classic dessert dish.

  • 45 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking (plus freezing, cooling)
  • Serves 8
  • Print
Tahini parfait with golifa
"A lot of the dishes at Stanbuli are traditional, some are interpreted and others have been inspired," says Kasif. "These are Turkish flavours but as far as I know have never been a composed dish. Golifa is a Turkish-Cypriot barley mixture that's traditionally eaten as a snack. We affectionately call it Turkish muesli. It's naturally sweet and savoury, but we've dressed ours up. The parfait is savoury yet sweet, too. The barley mixture just pops with textures that have resistance but are fresh and juicy." Start this recipe at least six hours ahead to freeze the parfait.


  • 100 gm pearl barley
  • 15 gm white sesame seeds
  • 15 gm nigella seeds
  • 5 gm aniseed
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 60 gm blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 25 gm raisins soaked in 1 tbsp Turkish tea and a pinch of sugar until swelled (5-10 minutes)
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • 3 tsp rosewater
  • Turkish halva, crumbled, to serve
Tahini parfait
  • 240 gm caster sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 300 gm unhulled tahini
  • 450 ml pouring cream, whisked to soft peaks


  • 1
    For tahini parfait, line a 2-litre loaf tin with plastic wrap. Combine sugar and 150ml water in a saucepan over high heat, stirring at first to dissolve sugar, then without stirring until sugar reaches 119C on a thermometer (10-12 minutes). Start whisking egg yolks in an electric mixer and when syrup reaches 121C on a thermometer (1-2 minutes), with motor running, pour syrup onto yolks and continue whisking until mixture is glossy, cooled and tripled in volume (3-4 minutes). Stop the machine and fold in tahini (mixture may become stiff). Fold in a quarter of the cream with a pinch of salt, then fold in remaining cream. Transfer to prepared tin, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm (6 hours, or overnight).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for the golifa, boil barley in a large saucepan of water until tender (35-40 minutes). Add white sesame seeds, nigella seeds and aniseed, bring back to the boil, then strain and set aside.
  • 3
    Bring sugar and 100ml water to the boil, boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat, add remaining ingredients and barley mixture and stir to combine, then set aside to cool completely (1½-2 hours).
  • 4
    Turn parfait out, cut into 3cm-thick slices and serve with topped with golifa and halva.


Drink Suggestion: 2005 Magalhães Late Bottled Vintage Porto from Portugal – a palate that’s rounded, smooth and perfectly balanced with flavours of redcurrant, raspberry and blueberry and a hint of liquorice. Drink suggestion by Joe Valore