Shared recipes in two cuisines

Since I was telling you about old Turkish history in the previous posts (links below), why not learn how to make a Turkish dessert? And since Turkish cuisine and Arabic cuisine are so similar and on many occasions borrowing from one another, why not make a dessert that is shared between the two cuisines?

This decadent dessert is known as Tulumba in Turkey and is one also famous all over the Middle East as “Balah il Sham”. In Arabic the name literally means “Dates of Syria” perhaps in reference to it first appearing in Syria (very close to Turkey) then moving on to the rest? Not quite sure, but the name certainly suggests a strong tie between this dessert and Syria.

These mini choros-like tubes of fried dough, drenched in sugar syrup look great on a dessert buffet as well as served stacked on a cake stand. Make some and serve your family and friends (occasionally) and enjoy this very very sweet tooth!


Serves: 8
For making the dough
  • 1 1/2 cups organic all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup organic butter
  • 6 organic eggs
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tsp DS Himalayan Salt
  • 1 tsp DS Supreme Sugar Syrup

Make the syrup from the recipe on this link and leave it to cool.

Meanwhile, melt the butter and heat it until it sizzles, add salt and orange blossom water and bring the mixture back to the boil. Once boiling, immediately pour in all the flour at once and quickly mixing it into a dough. Reduce the heat and stir beating the dough hard with a wooden spoon making sure to turn it in order to heat through on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

When thoroughly cooled, incorporate the eggs one-at-a-time into the dough, making sure each is fully incorporated before the next addition.


While you can do this by hand, I find it much easier and less messy to use my stand mixer. Set it at medium speed and make sure all is well incorporated before you add the next egg. Also stop and scrape the bottom and sides as you go.

Place the now softened dough into a piping bag fitted with a large wide-star nozzle (1 inch or 2.5 cm wide).

Heat the frying oil without allowing it to get too hot or start boiling, warm oil is what we are after. Squeeze out of the piping bags (straight into the warm oil) 7 to 8 pieces at a time. The pieces should be as thick as a finger and about 4 cm long. Once the Tulumba fingers swell increase the heat and fry them until golden brown, then remove from the oil and drain on paper towels for a few seconds then dip in the sugar syrup. Once fully coated, remove and stack on serving plate.

Reduce the heat and allow the oil to cool then repeat the process until all Tulumba fingers have been prepared.


Find more posts on Ramadan & Ramadan Foods during Ottoman Times on these links:

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