Turkish Tulumba

I recently found out, through TikTok, about this dessert that’s popular in Turkey called tulumba.

It’s kind of like a churro, but instead of being covered in cinnamon sugar, it is soaked in a sugar syrup. THIS SOUNDED AMAZING TO ME, so I wanted to try it immediately.

I’m so glad I tried it. Eating these is such a fun experience, they’re crispy on the outside, but so soft and juicy in the inside, I love them!

The tulumba inside of a bowl, being soaked in the syrup.

Video Tutorial

The syrup

So this dessert is actually very easy to make, it only has 2 parts to it. This is the syrup, and then the fried dough.

The first thing we are going to make is the syrup.

For this, all you need is:

  • Granulated sugar – caster sugar works too.
  • Water
  • Cardamom and some saffron – for flavour.

That is it, you just boil these together in a pot, then leave this aside to cool.

The flavour

I’ve never tried actual tulumba, so for this recipe I’m just going by what I’ve seen on videos.

From what I’ve seen, I think the syrup is typically flavoured with lemon. So either some lemon juice is added to the syrup, or a few slices of lemon is added.

I went with cardamom and saffron instead, just for a bit of a South Asian twist, I thought it would be nice.

It’s not the most traditional, but I liked it.

However, you can use whatever you want to flavour the syrup, it’s up to you!

A close up of the tulumba in the syrup.

The dough

Whiles the syrup is cooling down, we are going to make the dough.

Here’s what you will need for this:

  • Water
  • Unsalted butter – I like to use unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt in the recipe. But salted butter works too, just don’t add any extra salt.
  • Granulated sugar – caster sugar works too.
  • Salt – don’t add this if you are using salted butter.
  • Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour.
  • Eggs

LET YOUR DOUGH COOL DOWN BEFORE YOU ADD THE EGGS

To make the dough, you are going to heat the water, butter, sugar and salt together. Then you mix in the flour and cook this for about 2 minutes.

After this, it is important to let your dough cool down for about 10 minutes before you mix in the eggs.

The dough will be very hot at first. If you add the eggs straight away, they will cook.

So you’ll end up with scrambled pieces of egg in your dough, we do not want this, so give the dough some time to cool down.

The ingredients needed to make the dough.

Frying the dough

I feel like frying these is the hardest part of the recipe, I think it takes some practice to get them perfect.

I’ve seen videos where they are all perfectly straight, and all the same sizes. Mine were not.

But I guess it doesn’t really matter, they will taste the same even if they are all wonky and uneven, so don’t worry about it.

Anyway to fry them, you want to add your dough into a piping bag that has been fitted with a large star tip.

Then you want to fill a pot with some flavourless oil (I used vegetable oil) and heat this up until it reaches around 170c – 180c.

Once your oil is ready, squeeze some of the dough into this, and use scissors to cut off pieces. You can make them as long or as short as you want.

Just keep repeating this and fry them until they’re a deep golden brown colour.

Side note, you don’t want to overcrowd your pot, so don’t fry them all at once. Fry them in batches!

The dough pieces being fried.

Soaking the fried dough

The last step is to soak the fried dough in the syrup.

Once you have fried one batch, let them drain on some paper towels for a minute, then add them into the cooled down syrup.

Leave them to soak up the syrup for about 3-5 minutes, then take them out and leave to drain.

I know in my pictures, and the video, it looks like I left the fried dough in the syrup. That’s because I did.

I thought they looked pretty in the syrup, I was just thinking about the aesthetics. I took them out of the syrup once the pictures and video was done.

But from what I’ve seen in other videos and other recipes, the tulumba isn’t soaked for too long, just for a few minutes. So I recommend only soaking them for a few minutes too.

Anyway, repeat all this with the rest of the dough, so fry them, let them soak for a few minute, let them drain and then they’re ready!

A few pieces of the tulumba in a pot, being soaked.

Here are a few other recipes I posted recently, I think you should try these too:

Turkish Tulumba

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Ingredients

  • For the syrup:
  • 500g granulated sugar

  • 500ml water

  • 6 cardamom pods

  • A few strands of saffron (this syrup is usually flavoured with slices of lemon, I went with cardamom and saffron instead, but use whatever you prefer)

  • For the dough:
  • 480ml water

  • 120g unsalted butter

  • 50g granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 240g plain flour

  • 2 eggs

  • Extras:
  • Vegetable oil, to fry

Directions

  • Making the syrup:
  • In a pot, add the sugar and water. Break open your cardamom pods slightly, so that the seeds are exposed, then add this into the pot along with the saffron.
  • Place this pot onto medium heat and let this mixture come to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, leave it to boil for 5 minutes. You just want this to thicken slightly.
  • After 5 minutes, take this off the heat and leave aside to cool down.
  • Making the dough:
  • In a pot, add the water, butter, sugar and salt. Place this onto medium heat and let this come to a boil.
  • Once this comes to a boil, take this off the heat then add the flour. Mix until a dough forms and you can no longer see any flour.
  • Place this back onto medium heat and cook this for 2 minutes, whiles constantly mixing it.
  • Add this dough into a bowl and leave it to cool down for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, add in one of the eggs, mix this in, then mix in the remaining egg.
  • Add this dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
  • Frying the dough:
  • You want to fry these in oil that is around 170c-180c.
  • Once your oil is ready, squeeze some of the dough into this and use scissors to cut pieces. Try not to add too many into the oil at once, you don't want to overcrowd your pot.
  • Fry these until they're a deep golden brown colour. Then take them out and let them drain on some paper towels for about a minute.
  • Add these into your cooled syrup and let them soak up the syrup for about 3-5 minutes. Then take them out.
  • Keep repeating this until you have fried and soaked all of your dough, and then you can enjoy!
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