While we were in Kahramanmaras, we went on a day trip to a place called “Icme” which literally means “drinking / to drink”. No no, it’s not a bars street, there is a spring resort in “Icme”. People travel to the place from all over South Eastern Anatolia and the Mediterranean region just to drink and possibly take back home as much mineral water as they can to restore or preserve their health.
The mineral water in Icme is quite bitter and not very pleasant to drink. Locals came up with a solution to this. Just next to the main spring, there are dozens of stalls selling sweets, especially in-syrup types, providing the visitors with a chance to get as thirsty as possible. They serve generous amounts of sweets followed by bottles of mineral water, fresh from the springs. So if you survive the glucose coma, you’ll have drunk lots of water from the fountain of health. Yeah, I am all for healthy living, so give me more of that dessert!
I took pictures of the famous Turkish dessert served there: Tulumba which literally means “pump”. It’s easy to make at home and is its best when fresh and warm. Make sure it’s crispy outside and soft and fluffy inside.
2 cups (400 ml) water
3 tablespoons of (45 g) butter
A pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup flour
2 cups sunflower oil for deep frying
6 cups of sugar
4 cups of water
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
Boil water and sugar in a 2-3 lt pot for 10-15 minutes. When boils, add in the lemon juice. Let it cool off.
Heat the water, butter and salt in another saucepan. Bring to boil, lower the heat and add in the flour. Stir vigorously until the mixture separates from the sides of the pot and becomes doughy. Remove from the heat and put aside for a few minutes. Add in all the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is well blended before adding the next.
Heat the oil in a large cooking pot on low heat. Fill in your pastry bag with the dough. Bring the heat on medium-high. Squeeze out pieces resembling pretzels but without the extra back-twist, preferably hand-size bow-shaped pieces. Fry each piece uniformly on medium-high heat. Remove your fried tulumba with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to rid the excess oil.
Throw in all the fried tulumba into the cold syrup in large pot. The trick is the syrup must be icy cold and the fried dough pieces must be hot. Leave them in syrup for about 10 minutes and stir occasionally. Make sure they soak up the syrup well.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the pieces from the syrup. Place on a large serving plate and serve while warm and crispy.