Crisp Pastries in Syrup



Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

By adding a little extra flour to this tulumba recipe before beating in the eggs, the dough can be transformed into other desserts: with oiled hands shape it into balls and punch a hole through the middle, to make ‘ladies’ navels’, kadın göbeği; roll it into thin logs and shape into ‘Grand Viziers’ fingers’, vezir parmağı; or roll it in the palm of your hand, then flatten and fold in two to form ‘sweetheart’s lips’, dilber dudağı.


  • 8 fl oz/250 ml water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 oz/60 g butter
  • 6 oz/175 g strong plain flour, sifted on to greaseproof paper
  • 2 tablespoons semolina
  • 4 eggs
  • sunflower oil for deep-frying

For the syrup

  • 1 lb/450 g sugar
  • ½ pint/300 ml water
  • juice of ½ lemon


  • Prepare the syrup in advance. Put the ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Leave to cool.
  • Put the water, butter and salt into a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and shoot in the flour and semolina. Beat well. Return to the heat and continue to beat until the mixture becomes smooth and leaves the sides of the pan. Leave to cool. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture shines. Beat in 1 tablespoon of the cold syrup. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag and attach a fluted nozzle.
  • Heat the oil in a shallow pan. Squeeze flutes (approximately 1 in/2.5 cm long) of dough into it, cutting them off at intervals with a knife, until the pan is half full. Shake the pan over a medium heat until the swollen pastries turn golden-brown and float on the surface. Remove, drain on kitchen paper, and drop them into the cold syrup for 10-15 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Serve immediately.