Almost Turkish Recipes

Rice Pudding with Gum Mastic (Damla Sakızlı Sütlaç)

When it comes to Turkish milky desserts, a considerable number of people in Turkey prefer mastic gum flavor. In Turkey mastic gum is used in milky desserts, ice cream (it's the best), and, naturally, chewing gum. Originally liquid, mastic gum is sold as hard small transculent lumps and melted in hot milk while making dessert. It can also be ground with mortar and pestle. This fragrant resin is cultivated from mastic trees that are native throughout the Mediterranean; however, the most famous ones come from Greek island of Chios. In the States, you can easily find Chios mastic gum, "tears of Chios" online, even through Amazon. I usually bring back a bag of mastic gum when I visit Turkey.

Rice pudding is a traditional recipe that has different versions such as regular, baked, and with mastic gum.

4 cups of milk (whole, 1 or 2%)
1/2 cup rice
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
2-3 pieces of mastic gum

-Put rice and 2 cups of water in pot and cook until rice is soft. Drain.
-Put 3 cups of milk, rice, and salt in a pot and bring to a boil.
-Add sugar and keep cooking until rice gets really soft stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
-Mix well corn starch and remaining 1 cup of milk, and slowly stir in to the pudding along with mastic gum lumps. Cook until pudding thickens.
-Pour pudding into individual bowls or cups. (If you want baked pudding, make sure the bowls are oven safe.) If you do not want to bake your pudding, wait until pudding cools down and then put the bowls in the refrigerator.
-If you want baked pudding, place the bowls in a deep oven tray / dish. Fill the tray with water half way through the bowls.
-Broil them until golden brown on top. Let them cool and refrigerate.

Rice pudding is usually served with ground cinnamon on top. Try a scoop or two of ice cream on top on hot summer days.


  1. Merhaba Burcu! I've never tried rice pudding before (turkish and non-turkish ones), this looks simple with the few ingredients called for. but I doubt I will be able to locate any of such gums here! Hmmmmm

  2. Burcu - sagol, sutlac is one of my favorite deserts. In your directions you do not say at which point to add the mastic. Can you clarify which step I should add the mastic in?

  3. Zeynep merhaba,
    Thanks for reminding me. Mastic gum goes in with starch. I corrected the post, too.

  4. Thanks so much, i'll try this today!

  5. Thanks for the introduction to this new ingredient - gum mastic.

    I love rice pudding.

  6. Anonymous3:24 AM

    What a lovely recipe! Gum Mastic is solely produced on the Greek island of Chios. They have tried to grow the small shrubs elsewhere but to no avail. It is a wonderful ingredient and it was highly valued in the past, because it helps digestion (world's first chewing gum) among other things. I can send you some if you run out, just give me your address!
    Try it with chcocolate (in biscuits for example or in a panna cotta) for a more exciting effect.

  7. Anonymous12:03 PM

    This is one of my favorite Turkish desserts! Yummy yum! THanks for the recipe.

    BTW, I have a surprise for you on my blog! Enjoy!

  8. is the second photo showing mastic gum? It looks like unpolished diamond!
    Your baked pudding is a real beauty, it is my favorite as well!

  9. Burcu hanim, merhaba!
    Mustic gum'in Turkce'si nedir? Cevabiniz icin simdiden tesekkur derim.

  10. Janar,
    Mastic gum, damla sakizi demek.

  11. sütlaç çok sevdiğim bi tatlıdır damla sakızlısını hiç denememiştim eminim çok yakışıyodur bu tarifi denicem bende :)

  12. Merhaba Burcu.
    I've just come back from my turkish vacations. In Istambul I ate the milk pudding with mastic gum. Now I'm serching for a recipe. The pudding I ate was WITHOUT a rice. Can you help me, please?

    Bartek from Poland

  13. Dear bebartek, what you had is gum mastic pudding (sakizli muhallebi) and is very easy to make.
    1 lt milk (~4 cups) + 1 cup flour + 1 cup sugar + 2 tbsp butter + 2-3 pieces of gum mastic. Mix them all in a pot and cook on low-medium until thickens. Let it cool and serve with crushed pistachio, walnut, shredded coconut, or ice cream. For best results use a mixer on low setting to stir it while cooking.

  14. I love mastic also. My wife was an AFS student in Izmir and her Turkish "Family" lives now in Cesme, where mastic is also grown. She just brought home a kilo. I use it in some of my gluten-free desserts, such as cinnamon-pecan sticky buns topped with (liquid) mastic. BTW my blog is

  15. This looks delicious, I will try it out. Thanks for the recipe.