Gulab jamun is one of the popular Indian sweet dishes, most often eaten as a dessert, usually at major festivals (Diwali) or major celebrations (like Marriages…).
Gulab jamun is a type of dumpling made of flour & khoya / chhena and soaked in a sugar syrup flavored with cardamom seeds and rosewater or saffron. The sugar syrup used in it has rose water added so it smells like rose, and the shape of gulab jamun is mainly like Jamun (Jamun / Jam, a deep purple coloured Indian berry), so the sweet dish gets the name gujab jamun.
- 1/2 cup flour / maida
- 1 cup khoya
- 1/2 cup milk powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- a little milk
- 18-20 anar dana / nakul dana
- 1 tbsp ghee
- white oil, for deep frying
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 cups water
- 2 tsp rose water
- 4-5 green cardamom (chhoti elaichi)
- few strands of saffron
To prepare sugar syrup:
- Take a deep pan, mix the 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water. (ratio is 1 part of sugar to 2 parts of water) and bring to a boil.
- Add 4-5 cardamom pods (crushed), rose water and saffron.
- Mix with a wooden ladle until all the sugar is dissolved in water. (Do not overheat, or else sugar will get caramelized / hard).
- Boil the syrup and then simmer to reduce the water by half.
- Check the consistency by pouring a little syrup from the ladle into the pan. (Remember not to put your hand in the warm syrup to test consistency).
- If the syrup takes times to pour, it means syrup is ready.
- Clear the syrup by removing the scum formed on the top and transfer the hot syrup into a serving dish.
To prepare dough:
- Prepare the dough by combining the khoya, flour & milk powder and baking soda and mix thoroughly.
- Add a little milk and knead to make a smooth dough (but not sticky).
- Divide the dough into 18-20 small portions. Put anar dana (nokul dana, small sweetened balls) inside each balls.
- Apply a little ghee on both the palms and roll the balls between slightly greased palms into a smooth round ball.
Frying the dumplings:
- Take another deep pan, heat the oil on high flame and then lower the heat to medium.
- Slowly release the small balls into the hot oil from the side of the pan, one by one. (fry 5-6 at a time and not more than that).
- Do not move the balls, gently shake the pan and allow the oil to flow on each ball and also to keep the balls from browning on just one side.
- Fry till golden brown (ensure even browning on all sides). Slowly the balls (slightly browned) will rise to the surface.
- Remember to fry the balls very slowly under medium temperature to ensure complete cooking from inside.
- Repeat the process till all the balls are fried. Keep aside.
Soaking the fried balls in the syrup:
- Add the fried gulab jamuns directly into the warm syrup (you may heat the syrup a little).
- Allow the gulab jamuns to soak in the sugar syrup for 2 hours.
- If the temperature of the oil is too high then the gulab jamuns tend to break (cracks appear on the surface of the gulab jamuns).
- Adjust the temperature to ensure that the gulab jamuns do not break / cook too quickly.
- Also do not fry on very high flame as the dumplings will burn on the outside and remain raw inside.
- If you find the sugar syrup consistency too thick, add a little water or if the syrup consistency is watery, add a little sugar to get that perfect consistency.