How to make Turkish Ice Cream?

Turkish Ice Cream

When it comes to a summer delight, we remember the ice cream. Turkish ice cream name is dondurma which is made very differently than other ice creams in the world. Dondurma is always on the list of food buckets whenever you visit Turkey. The flavor, texture, and aroma of Turkish ice cream attract tourists worldwide. The consistency of ice cream makes it stand out among all others. The ingredients used in Turkish ice cream are a little different that produces a unique taste in every spoon. You can find multiple Turkish ice cream flavors from vendors and stores.

Just like Turkish food and desserts are already praised worldwide, Turkish stretchy ice cream is loved by everyone. Whether they are the Turkish residents or the tourists visiting Turkey from all over the world, dondurma is liked by everyone. Some hidden ingredients make it very delicious. Salep powder and mastic are the magical ingredients in the Turkish delight ice cream recipe. In this article, you will be able to know the significance of the special ingredients that are used to make Turkish stretchy ice cream.

Salep Powder

The salep powder used in Turkish ice cream is flour made from the tubers of the Orchid genus Orchis. These are actually the two species named Orchis militaris and Orchis mascula. We have noticed that Turkish ice cream has a stretchy texture. This texture comes from the salep powder we add while making Turkish ice cream. The salep powder has a starchy polysaccharide which is called glucomannan. Just like ice cream, salep powder is used in many desserts and beverages. When it is ice cream, salep powder gives consistency and stretch that gives an additional taste and gummy texture to the dondurma. 

Mastic Powder

It is the sap of the mastic tree of the island of Chios in Greece that thickens the texture of ice cream. The powder is also called Pistacia lentiscus which is a small tree of genus Pistacia and a dioecious evergreen shrub. It is a key ingredient in the dondurma as well as in Turkish puddings. The mastic resin gives bright whiteness and an unusual texture to the dessert.

These two ingredients give a unique flavor to Turkish ice cream. The Maraş ice cream in Turkey is made mostly from the milk of goats. The Kahramanmaras region of Turkey first produced the Turkish ice cream, this is why it is known as Maraş Ice Cream. You can find Turkish ice cream in every street of Turkey from stores to vendors. They used to churn the ice cream by hand instead of using an ice cream maker. This is the way you get the unique creamy taste.

If you are a coffee lover, try Turkish Coffee recipe and make for yourself.

Ingredients of Turkish Ice Cream

The ingredients of the Turkish ice cream recipe include:

  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Sugar
  • Salep powder
  • Mastic powder
  • Rosewater (optional)
  • Vanilla powder (for flavor) 
  • Extracts (optional)

You can add flavors and extracts to the ice cream of your choice. From fruit flavors to biscuits and Turkish coffee ice cream, you can add anything you want to. Also, you can make the ice cream more traditional using some dry fruits and pistachios. 


The very first step is to prepare the base of the ice cream. For this, freeze the mastic for about 15 minutes before using it. Take out the frozen resin, then crush it into pieces. Heat the cream and milk. First, heat it on a medium flame and when it starts simmering, low the heat a little bit. Now mix the salep, mastic powder, and sugar altogether. When they get a mix, start adding the mixture into the heated milk and cream. Keep on whisking the mixture. You can also add some vanilla powder for taste at this stage but wait for the end if you want to add some extracts into it. Keep boiling the mixture for almost 45 minutes and when it starts getting condensed now turn off the flame.

The next step is to cool down the mixture, here, make sure that you keep stirring the mixture from time to time and use a ladle to mix and lift the mixture up and down. This step is crucial to add stretch to the ice cream. When you see that the mixture has reassembled, it is time to chill it. Keep the ice cream in the freezer. You can use a bowl that is freezer proof and cover it with a lid or plastic wrap. 

The next step is the actual trick. You would need to freeze the mixture for 5 hours. In this time, get the mixture out every 30 minutes and whisk it to add stretch to the ice cream. Repeat the process until you complete 5 or 6 hours.

Freeze, Eat and Enjoy!

Keep freezing the ice cream until you get the actual texture and gummy feel into it. It is recommended that you make ice cream a day before. This locks the consistency of the ice cream when it is freezing and gives the ultimate taste when you are about to eat it. You can try this recipe at your home and enjoy the actual taste of Turkish ice cream. One thing that I want to add is that it is sometimes hard to find salep powder. Original salep powder is very rare to find so you can use cornstarch as its substitute. However, it is better to use salep if possible.

You can get the exact gummy texture in your ice cream by following the above steps. The chewy Turkish ice cream is going to be your favorite if you actually love the traditional Turkish food and desserts that are already lauded all across the globe.