Turkey – Traditional Dondurma (Sweet Creamy Mastic Ice-Cream)

by Fariha Saeed

About the dish

Dondurma is the most famous dessert in Turkey. You have never heard of eating ice cream with a fork and knife. Dondurma is the only ice cream that is eaten by fork and knife. The unique way of eating sounds really great. Dodurma means ”freezing in Turkish”. The flavor of this ice-cream is so appetizing and unique. None of the other ice-cream can beat dondurma. This ice cream is made with unique ingredient which is ”sahlep” and ”mastic”. Sahlep is a flour which is made from the orchid which adds a smooth texture to the ice cream. Mastic is a natural gum that adds a chewiness to the ice cream. There is two interesting part of this ice cream:

  • The flour which is added to this ice cream is made from orchid
  • This is the only ice cream that we eat with a fork and knife

You can serve this goodness to your friends and family and you can also serve this to your guests. This ice cream is definitely gonna impress your guests. You can enjoy this yumminess in rainy and cold weather or you can have this on hot summer days to cool your body. You can also have this as a snack. Dondurma is commonly sold by street vendors, carts but this is also available in restaurants. This is made by adding cream, whipped cream, sahlep, mastic, almonds, cashew, pistachios, and many other things. This ice cream is served with a fork and knife and topped with crushed pistachios with gives it a beautiful color. There is a different flavor of dondurma:

  • Cocoa flavor
  • pistachios flavor
  • plain flavor
  • vanilla flavor
  • dried orchid bulb flavor

This is the best way to cool down a hot day in Istanbul. This ice cream is stretchy and very, very, very cold. That’s the reason why you have to use a fork and knife. This is also known as elastic Turkish ice cream

Nutrition list

  • calories 250g
  • fat 16g
  • protein 0g
  • carbs 19g

Ingredients of the dish

  • 4g mastic
  • 70g sahlep flour
  • 800g milk
  • 5 tbsp whipped cream
  • 150g heavy cream
  • 200g sugar

For garnish

  • Pistachios (crushed) 1 tbsp
  • cashew (crushed) 1 tbsp


Take a bowl and put the mastic in it and freeze it for 15 minutes with a pinch of sugar in it. Take another bowl and put sahlep and 125g milk and whisk it until fully combined and then set aside.

Now take a cooking pot and add the remaining milk it and give it a boil. When the milk is boiled add the shlep mixture in it and give it a stir. Now take a big ladle and take cream and then pour it in the pot from height in a circular motion. This step is very important. Keep stirring otherwise it will burn. Pour all the cream in it and after 20 minutes transfer it to a bowl and add the whipped cream in it and fold it in the mixture. Now cover it with plastic wrap.

When the mixture is cool put it in a mold and then put it in the freezer after 3 hours take the mold out and give the mixture a stir and then put it back in the freezer for 15 hours. Take a plate and cut pieces of the ice cream and sprinkle it with pistachios and cashews.

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