Tulumba is a Turkish dessert that is also popular in the Greek & Bulgarian cuisine. This is a sweet dish that is made by soaking fried batter in sugar syrup. An icing bag that has a special nozzle gives the sweet its ovoid shape with ridges. Though the fried batter is dropped into the sugar syrup while it is hot (so as to soak the syrup), this dessert is generally eaten cold. There are many variations to this dish in different parts of the world that is known by different names such as Loukoumades in Greece, Jalebi in South Asia, Churro in Spain, and Bamiyeh in Iran.
Origin of Tulumba Recipe
Tulumba is native to Turkey, with many counterparts in other parts of the Mediterranean region. In fact, this dessert is quite popular in the Balkan and Anatolia regions as well. There are many similar desserts in various parts of the world that have their origins in the local cuisines. South Asian Jalebi, Imartee, Gulab Jamun are similar to this Turkish dessert, in the way they are prepared and served. Italian struffoli and zeppole are certain other variants of this dessert that have been popular for many years in their respective regions.
Preparation of the Turkish Tulumba
Also known as Tulumba Tatlisi, this dish is prepared with flour, eggs, butter, water, and a pinch of salt. All ingredients except the flour and eggs are mixed and boiled. The flour is then gradually added to the boiled mixture, while stirring contents constantly. Once, the dough leaves the sides of the dish, eggs are added and mixed well. The batter is then taken out and poured into the icing bag. Sunflower oil is used for frying the batter, which is dropped in small 1 to 11/2 inch pieces into the oil. As the batter turns golden brown, the pieces are taken out and the excess oil soaked on a tissue paper. They are immediately dropped into the sugar syrup. This dish is generally served cold.
Variations of the Tulumba Recipe
As mentioned, Tulumba has many similarities with some other desserts across the world. Some popular variations are –
Loukoumades – This is a Greek dessert that is made in a similar manner; however, honey syrup is used instead of sugar syrup. The dish is flavored with cinnamon and once the dessert has soaked in the syrup, it is coated with powdered sugar. The Greek Jews refer to this dessert as ‘Zvingoi’, a derivative of the German term ‘swinge’ and it is usually part of the Hanukkah treats.
Jalebi – This South Asian dessert is prepared in a similar fashion as the Tulumba; however, the batter is not broken into pieces. Instead it is made into circular designs that are soaked in sugar syrup, once golden brown. Imartee and Gulab Jamun are other variations of this region.
Churro – This Spanish variation is prepared in the same manner as the Turkish dessert. It is generally eaten dipped in hot chocolate or café con leche. This dessert is popular in the US, Australia, Parts of Europe and even Spanish speaking Caribbean regions as well.
Tulumba Recipe Trivia
Lemon juice is generally added to the sugar syrup, while it is being prepared. This gives the Tulumba a hint of tanginess, which goes well with its sweetness.