Lokma is a Turkish name for bite-sized, fried balls of dough that is dipped in a simple syrup. Lokma is Turkish and means 'morsel'. Similar types of treats are popular in numerous Mediterranean countries, though each country has its own variation on how the dish is made and served. The Greeks, who also enjoy the dish, call each cake a loukoumades, and the dessert is related to the Italian sfinge or zeppola as well as the Mediterranean Jewish dish, zvingoi.
There are some differences in recipes for lokma. One principal difference between the Turkish and Greek version, and the sfinge or zeppola made in Italy, is that the dough made for this dish tends to use yeast. Zeppole don’t use yeast, and are usually filled with sweetened ricotta cheese, jam, or custard.
In Turkey, lokma are sold by street vendors or in stores, where making them may be a somewhat automated process, or they’re made at home. In some parts of the country it is traditional to serve lokma at funerals, especially to the poor. Other areas make them and serve them to neighbors if they have something to celebrate. They’re a common food at festivals, too.
- 1 tbsp. yeast
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 tbsp. plain yogurt
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
Make syrup in advance:
Bring water and sugar to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then gently simmer, uncovered, boil about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and stir. Let it cooled.
- Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the warm water in a large bowl. The water should be no more than 100 F (40 C). Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam. Add flour, yogurt, salt, egg and stir to combine.
- Beat the mixture until it forms a smooth, soft dough. Stir the dough well, cover with stretch film and let it rise 4-5 hours.
- Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 F (175 C). Oil should be at least 2 inches deep.
- Place a tea spoon in a glass of water near the batter. Scoop up about 1 teaspoon of dough per puff with the wet spoon, drop the dough balls into the hot oil in batches, wetting the spoon each time. Fry in the hot oil until golden brown on the bottom, and roll them over to cook the other side, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Gently set the lokmas aside to drain on paper towels.
- Place the lokmas on a baking sheet, drizzle them with already cooled syrup, and sprinkle with powdered sugar, shredded coconut or cinnamon. Serve warm.
- Isn't it lots of fun! Enjoy!....