Things 2 try   before we die
  Best food & drink by category
Best food & drink by region Special occasions National menus
Alphabetical index

Sponsored links


Special occasions



Turkish Delight (Lokum)

Highslide JS

Turkish Delight (Lokum) or Cyprus Delight (Loukoumia) is a confection made from starch and sugar. It is often flavored with rosewater, mastic or lemon; rosewater gives it a characteristic pale pink color.

Left: A tray of Turkish Delight.

It has a soft, jelly-like and sometimes sticky consistency, and is often packaged and eaten in small cubes dusted with icing sugar or copra to prevent clinging. Some types contain small nut pieces, usually pistachio, hazelnut or walnuts. Other common types include flavors such as cinnamon or mint. In the production process soapwort may be used as an additive, serving as an emulsifier.

Lokum has been produced in Turkey since the 15th century. Originally, honey and molasses were used as sweeteners, and water and flour were the binding agents.

Lokum was introduced to the West in the 19th century. An unknown Briton reputedly became very fond of the delicacy during his travels to Istanbul, and purchased cases of lokum, to be shipped back to Britain under the name Turkish Delight. It became a major delicacy not only in Britain, but throughout Continental Europe.

Turkish Delight Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 0.5 cups cornstarch
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 0.5 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tbls rosewater or one of the following to taste:
    • 0.5 tsp rose food flavoring
    • 0.25 cup fruit juice
    • 1 tbl vanilla extract
    • 1 tbl orange extract
    • 1 tbl Crème de menthe liqueur
  • food coloring
  • 0.5 cup chopped toasted pistachios or almonds
  • icing sugar, granulated sugar, or desiccated coconut for dusting

Servings: 8 pieces.


Time: 30 minutes + cooling

Recipe Cooking and Preparation Method

  1. Combine sugar, 1 cu water, cream of tartar, and flavoring(s) in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

  2. Boil over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes, until the mixture reaches "firm-ball," or 250F (120C) on a candy thermometer.

  3. In a separate bowl, combine cornstarch with remaining water, mix completely, and slowly stir into sugar mixture. Stir constantly until mixture is evenly combined.

  4. Apply non-stick cooking spray to a form (ice cube trays will do nicely, though not plastic ones), shallow pie pan, or jelly-roll pan.

  5. Pour the hot mixture into the pan or form and allow to set.

  6. When cool, release from form or cut into cubes as applicable and roll each piece in powdered sugar, granulated sugar, or coconut.

  7. Store at room temperature in airtight container.



Note: with the exception of the sugar, cornstarch, water, cream of tartar, and cooking technique, this recipe may be greatly altered according to taste and/or occasion. The nuts may be omitted, and various flavorings can be added.



Back to What People Eat & Drink



World's best food

Sponsored links


World's best drinks