Sumalak Recipe

Discover the art of making Sumalak with our easy recipe. Dive into Central Asian traditions with a sweet twist. Start cooking now!



  • Cuisine: Central Asian
  • Category: Dessert
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 12
  • Calories: 350 calories

Sumalak is a traditional sweet dish deeply rooted in Central Asian culture, particularly associated with the celebration of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. This dish holds significant cultural and symbolic value, symbolizing the renewal of nature and the arrival of spring. Its preparation is a communal event, bringing people together to partake in the festivities.

The main ingredient in Sumalak is wheat, which is soaked overnight and then ground into a coarse paste. This paste is then combined with water and slowly simmered for several hours, resulting in a thickened mixture. The addition of flour paste further contributes to its consistency. Sugar is introduced to sweeten the dish, creating a luscious and indulgent flavor.

What makes Sumalak unique is the communal effort involved in its preparation. Families and communities gather to stir the pot, symbolizing unity and the shared joy of the new year. The lengthy cooking process becomes a social occasion, fostering a sense of togetherness.

The final touch includes the addition of vegetable oil, raisins, chopped nuts, and ground cinnamon, providing a rich and flavorful profile. Once cooked, Sumalak is allowed to cool before being served, often in generous portions to friends, family, and neighbors.

This cherished dish not only delights the taste buds but also embodies the spirit of togetherness, renewal, and the vibrant cultural heritage of Central Asia. Sumalak stands as a testament to the importance of food in cultural celebrations, bringing people together to share in the joy of a new beginning.


Dive into the vibrant tradition of Sumalak! Uncover the secrets of this Central Asian delight, blending history, culture, and a sweet symphony of flavors.


  • 2 cups wheat grains
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 8 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (e.g., walnuts, almonds)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method Instructions

  1. Wash the wheat grains and soak them in water overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the soaked wheat and grind it into a coarse paste.
  3. In a large pot, combine the ground wheat with 10 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Stir continuously to prevent lumps.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for several hours, stirring occasionally until it thickens.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with water to create a smooth paste.
  6. Gradually add the flour paste to the wheat mixture, stirring constantly to avoid clumps.
  7. Add sugar and continue to stir until the mixture reaches a thick consistency.
  8. In a separate pan, heat the vegetable oil and add it to the wheat mixture.
  9. Stir in raisins, chopped nuts, and ground cinnamon.
  10. Cook the mixture on low heat, stirring regularly, until it achieves a glossy texture.
  11. Allow Sumalak to cool before serving.

Recipe Video


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Recipe Tags: Sumalak, Sumalak Recipe, Recipe


To serve Sumalak, follow these steps for a traditional and enjoyable presentation:

  1. Portioning: Ladle the Sumalak into individual serving bowls. It's a hearty dish, so a moderate portion is usually sufficient.
  2. Garnish: Sprinkle a handful of additional chopped nuts (such as walnuts or almonds) on top for added texture and visual appeal.
  3. Raisins: Consider placing a few extra raisins on the surface of each serving for a burst of sweetness.
  4. Cinnamon Dusting: Lightly dust the top of the Sumalak with a pinch of ground cinnamon. This not only enhances the flavor but adds a finishing touch.
  5. Serve Warm or Cold: Sumalak can be served either warm or cold, depending on personal preference. If serving warm, make sure it's not too hot, allowing everyone to enjoy it comfortably.
  6. Accompaniments: Some people like to enjoy Sumalak with a dollop of yogurt on the side or a sprinkle of more nuts for customization.
  7. Communal Sharing: Since Sumalak is often associated with communal gatherings, consider serving it to friends and family, emphasizing the sense of togetherness and celebration.
  8. Tips

    1. Quality Ingredients: Use high-quality wheat grains, fresh flour, and good-quality nuts and raisins for the best flavor and texture.
    2. Consistent Stirring: Stir the mixture consistently during the entire cooking process to prevent lumps and ensure an even texture.
    3. Patience is Key: The slow cooking process is essential for Sumalak. Allow it to simmer on low heat, giving the ingredients time to meld and develop rich flavors.
    4. Flour Paste Technique: When adding the flour paste, ensure it's smooth and free of lumps. Gradually incorporate it into the wheat mixture while stirring continuously to prevent clumps.
    5. Oil Addition: Adding vegetable oil at the right stage is crucial for a glossy finish. Pour it in gradually, stirring well to integrate it smoothly.
    6. Cooling Time: Allow Sumalak to cool sufficiently before serving. This helps it set and enhances the overall consistency.
    7. Customization: Feel free to adjust the sweetness by varying the amount of sugar according to your taste preferences.
    8. Communal Cooking: If possible, involve friends or family in the cooking process. The communal effort not only aligns with the tradition but also makes the preparation more enjoyable.
    9. Storage: Sumalak can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Reheat gently if you prefer to serve it warm.
    10. Experiment: While staying true to the traditional recipe, don't be afraid to experiment with additional spices or variations to make it your own.

    Ingredient Substitutes

    I will say, its best to stick to the traditional ingredients for authentic flavors, here are some potential substitutes for Sumalak in case you need alternatives:

    1. Wheat Grains: If wheat grains are not available, you can try using whole barley grains or a mix of barley and bulgur.
    2. Flour: Instead of wheat flour, you could experiment with rice flour or oat flour for a different texture.
    3. Sugar: For a healthier option, consider using honey or maple syrup as a sweetener. Adjust the quantity based on your preferred level of sweetness.
    4. Vegetable Oil: Sunflower oil or melted butter can be used as substitutes for vegetable oil, imparting distinct flavors.
    5. Raisins: Dried apricots, currants, or chopped dates can be used instead of raisins for a unique twist.
    6. Nuts: Feel free to substitute the nuts with others you prefer, such as pistachios, cashews, or hazelnuts.
    7. Cinnamon: Swap cinnamon with ground cardamom or nutmeg for a different aromatic profile.


    Savor the joy of Sumalak, a dish that transcends taste, weaving tradition and togetherness. Now, share the sweetness of Central Asian culture with every bite!

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