10:19 pm


I’ve been seeing these temporary lokma stands here and there around Kuşadası for more than a year now, most often on Fridays and frequently near mosques, but until yesterday, I had never stopped.

It is apparently traditional to sponsor such a stand and provide free lokma to any and all to mark the anniversary of a death or to celebrate a recent birth or to give thanks for a wish come true. This one fell in the first category:

"Ruhuna Fatiha" is roughly equivalent to "Rest in peace": it’s what you see on tombstones as well.

As near as I can make out, "Ruhuna Fatiha" means "spirit of Al-Fatiha", Al-Fatiha in turn being the opening sura of the Qur’an:

In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy. Praise belongs to God, Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy, Master of the Day of Judgement. It is You we worship, it is You we ask for help. Guide us to the Straight path: the path of those You have blessed, those who incur no anger and who have not gone astray.

At any rate, this is the first time I decided to take a turn in line. I watched the lokma being made:

After being fried, these doughnut-like pastries get a quick bath in syrup and are served up in little plastic trays. My own little tray of the finished product:

The verdict? Leaving aside the universal appeal of free food, I was not terribly impressed. In particular, I found them rather bland. Of course, my basic attitude towards sweets is that if there’s no chocolate involved, then what’s the point? (I ran across one forum posting that suggested that lokma are particularly good with ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce – a sort of deconstructed profiterole.)

This recipe looks to be pretty representative if you want to try them yourself.

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