What I am going to share with you today is Lokma.
Lokma is a traditional Turkish dessert made of flour, sugar, yeast and salt bathed with syrup or honey. Lokma was first cooked by the sultan's cooks at Ottoman Empire palaces, and for centuries, it was unknown how it was made. After the 20th century, it became a tradition for Turks to cook and serve lokmas to neighbours.
This lokma is also can be found around neighbouring countries like in Greek called loukoumades. Or Zeppola of Italy and in Iran or Iraq, called luqmat al-qadi from Arabic language لقمة القاضي
These luscious bites — the word lokma means “a bite” or “a morsel” — are the doughnuts of the Orient, crispy on the outside, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture on the inside. Served hot as they emerge bubbling from the pot, sprinkled with a dusting of pure cinnamon, they are also found in markets, more commonly in Izmir, the third largest city of the nation.
Like many Mediterranean sweets, lokma is made with a flour pastry to which yeast is added, mixed together with water, a dash of sugar and salt. It is then allowed to rise in a bowl, covered, for an hour or so, shaped into small balls and deep fried in hot oil. They are also similar to many international fried dough recipes, such as churros in Spain,and gulab jamun in India. Once fried till golden, lokma are immersed in a hot sweet syrup or honey to absorb the sweetness and soften the texture.
In my neighborhood, every Wednesday there was a lokma truck shares fresh free lokma for public. It was very excited for my daughter every time she saw that lokma truck. She always dragged me to get some free lokma anytime we passing through the lokma truck after we went from our local farmer market near there.
Actually I could simply buy it from a "tatlı" (sweets) shop any where at the corner rather than waiting on very long queue cause many people as excited as my kid! ^,^ But I think it's okay I do it once in awhile for her.
So for you who didn't meet any free lokma truck on your neighborhood (^,^) or you just want to have something to eat for afternoon coffee, so here I write you my recipe how to make own lokma at home.
Before you make lokma dough, you need to make the simple syrup first. The syrup consistency should be just right to cover your crunchy lokma without making them soggy.
For the syrup:
- 500 gr sugar
- 200 ml water
- fresh squeeze lemon juice from ½ lemon
- 1 tsp corn syrup (optional)
For Lokma dough:
- 500 gr AP flour
- 25 g fresh yeast ( I use 1 tbsp dry yeast)
- 1 tbsp sugar dissolved in ¾ cup warm water
- 1 tsp salt
- ± 200 ml warm water
- ± 200~300 ml hot water
- Oil for deep fry
1) mix yeast and lukewarm sugar water until yeast dissolve. In big mixing bowl place AP flour and salt. Mix in yeast mixture and start to knead. You can use hand or mixer to do it.
2) Then slowly add in 200 ml warm water while continue kneading the dough. I use my hand handled mixer with spiral hook to help me kneading. After few minute, the dough getting smooth, gradually add hot water while continue kneading. First I add 150 ml hot water. Just watch if the dough still thick you can add another hot water, do it gradually.
3) the dough should not thick but it's not too runny either (you can see video illustration below). I need about 250 ml hot water to get perfect consistency. Cover the bowl and let it rest for about 45 minute or until it gain volume.
4) Heat enough cooking oil for deep fry. I move my dough into piping bag and make small hole. This step is optional, you can use 2 spoon to make small ball and fry them, but I find this way is easier for me cause I want to shape like a donuts. Oh yeah.. you'll need knife to helps you cut the batter while frying.
5) I pipe small circle (donuts look-alike) and cut the batter with oily knife at the edge of the piping bag. If you are using spoon, take batter not more than half tbsp, then with another oily spoon, dip the batter into hot oil. Fry over medium- high heat until all turns golden brown. Strain and drain excess oil.
6) Dip lokma while it's hot into syrup, then strain them into serving plate.
Serve immediately with sprinkle of pistachio.
Recipe more and less based on this video: