By Bhamini S.
Gulab jamun (jumun) is one of India's most popular sweets. These deep-fried balls are like donuts made of dried milk powder and flour, and are dipped in a rose-cardamom flavoured sugar syrup. They make a delicious treat with your favourite Malgudi Days filter coffee on the side.
To make sugar syrup:
3/4 cup white sugar (250 ml)
3/4 cup water
3 cardamom powdered
½ tbsp rose essence/water
A few saffron strands
To make gulab jamun:
1 cup milk powder
1/3 cup all-purpose plain flour
1 tbsp semolina
Pinch baking soda
1 tbsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
4-5 tbsp warm milk
A cup or two ghee (for frying)
Sugar syrup recipe:
1. In a wide pan add ¾ cup sugar and ¾ cup water. Allow it to boil.
2. Simmer for 4-5 minutes and you will notice the syrup will turn slightly thick and sticky.
3. Add the powdered cardamom powder, essence (optional) and the saffron strands.
4. Remove from the stove, cover and keep it aside.
Gulab jamun recipe:
1. In a large bowl add the milk powder, all-purpose flour and semolina.
2. Add a pinch of baking soda.
3. Add ghee slowly and crumble the mixture well.
4. Slowly add milk to form a dough.
5. Knead mixture to a soft dough. Rest dough for approx 10 minutes.
6. Make dough into small balls by greasing a little bit ghee on to your hands. Make sure there are no cracks in the balls or the gulab jamun will break when you fry.
7. Heat ghee for frying on a slow flame- do not allow this to become smokey.
8. Fry the balls, stirring in-between on a slow flame.
9. Once the jamun turn golden brown, take them off and place them into the prepared sugar syrup.
10. Cover the lid and allow them to soak in the syrup for 1-2 hours.
Some hints to bear in mind while making Gulab jamun
~ Traditionally, ghee is used for frying, but you can use oil. Do not overheat the oil.
~ The sugar syrup needs to be hot, not boiling while adding the fried jamun. If the syrup is not too hot then they will not soak well, if it is boiling they will break.
~ The dough needs to be smooth and moist, not hard or cracky. Sprinkle some milk if it is too hard and knead the dough smooth.
~ Leave the mixed dough for 10-15 minutes to rest.