Fritters in Syrup

Saray lokması

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

These fritters are generally associated with religious feasting. The multi-shaped lokma of Izmir are known far and wide. They are most commonly shaped into tiny halls, saray lokması, or into rings of different sizes. Mastika can be added to the dough to give it a chewy texture, and honey is sometimes dribbled over the warm fritters instead of soaking them in syrup.


  • 6 oz/175 g strong plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried yeast
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ pint/150 ml lukewarm water
  • sunflower oil for frying

For the syrup

  • ¼ pint/150 ml water
  • 8 oz/225 g sugar
  • juice of ½ lemon


  • Cream the yeast with the sugar in the lukewarm water. Sift the flour with the salt and cinnamon into a bowl, make a well in the centre, and pour in the yeast. Draw in a little of the flour from the sides to make a smooth batter, and sprinkle the surface with flour. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave the batter to sponge for about 20 minutes. (If using mastika, crush it with sugar and sprinkle it over the flour at this stage.) Draw in the rest of the flour and add a little extra water to make a smooth, sticky dough. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to prove in a warm place until doubled in size.
  • Make the syrup. Put the sugar in a pan with the water and lemon juice and bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Leave to cool.
  • Heat a thick layer of oil in a shallow pan. Drop teaspoonfuls of the dough into the oil, dipping the teaspoon into a cup of water at frequent intervals to prevent stickiness. The shapes don’t have to be perfect. Fry them until golden-brown. Drain them on kitchen paper and pop them into the cold syrup for 10-15 minutes. Serve freshly made.