Classic Turkish Delight


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    20-25 pieces

Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Turkey is famous for its ‘delight’ which is infinite in variety. Multi-flavoured, soft and gooey, jelly-like and chewy, or tender and melting — each kind is individually named and, if stored in a sealed container, will last up to a year. This recipe, which can also be used for the chopped-nut varieties, is for a classic rose-scented Turkish delight. A little pink colouring is often added to this lokum and, if you prefer the chewy variety, add mastika, ground with sugar, to the mixture as it cooks.


  • 1 lb/450 g sugar
  • 1 pint/600 ml water
  • 2 tablespoons rose-water
  • 2 oz/60 g cornflour
  • icing sugar for dusting


  • Prepare any shape of mould, approximately in/4 cm deep and 7-8 in/18-20 cm in diameter, by lining it with a piece of muslin covered with a layer of cornflour.
  • Put the sugar and the water in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Slake the cornflour with a little water, and stir in the rose-water. Add a few spoonfuls of the hot syrup to the cornflour mixture, then pour it into the pan. Keep stirring over a medium heat until the mixture thickens and barely drips from the spoon. The mixture is ready when a little of it dropped into a cup of cold water forms a soft, jelly-like ball.
  • Pour the mixture into the mould and leave it to cool. Spread a layer of icing sugar on a flat surface and turn the lokum on to it. Remove the muslin and brush off the excess cornflour. Cut the block into small squares and roll them in the icing sugar until well coated.