Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun

For all my global friends, Gulab Jamun is a India-wide available/famous dessert. In simple English language, it is an evaporated-milk based dumpling soaked in rose-scented sugar syrup. The actual dumpling is termed as Jamun (in Hindi), and Gulab is the Hindi term for rose – hence the name Gulab Jamun.

I prepared these wonderful dumplings on the occasion of this Diwali. This was my first attempt at Gulab Jamun. As with most milk-based sweets,  there are many ways to make Gulab Jamun – either by using milk powder, khoya (evaporated milk/milk solids) or, with bread. However as maintained always, I do not like to take short-cuts and thus have used khoya (evaporated milk/milk solids) in making these Gulab Jamun.

To be honest, I prepared Gulab Jamun on 2 consecutive days start of this week. I started with a particular recipe on the first day; the Gulab Jamun did come out delicious but were hard and dry from inside. So I started again on day 2 with an improved recipe/technique – and the result can be seen on this post 🙂 ; they came out absolutely perfect in colour, texture, moistness and sweetness. So here I am sharing my Day 2 recipe for this rich dessert made with khoya.

The ingredients for making Gulab Jamun (with khoya) are:

 

For making Jamun (the Dumpling) :

  1. Khoya / Mawa (Evaporated milk / milk solids) : 100 grams (1 cup grated)
  2. Cottage Cheese (Paneer) : 100 gram (¾ cup grated)
  3. All-purpose Flour / Plain Flour (Maida) : 1.5 Tbsp
  4. Semolina (Suji / Rawa) : 2 Tbsp
  5. Cardamom (Elaichi) : 2
  6. Milk : 1 Tbsp milk or add as needed
  7. Baking Powder : ¼ tsp (optional)
  8. Oil or clarified butter : For deep frying

For making the rose-scented sugar syrup:

  1. Sugar : 1¾ cup
  2. Rose water: 1 Tbsp
  3. Water : 1 cup

Method :

For making the dough for the Jamun/dumpling:

Take a bowl and grate khoya in it. Then add grated paneer, semolina, all-purpose flour, baking powder and cardamom powder to this grated khoya and mix them well. Note that there should not be any lumps in both the khoya and the paneer.

Now add milk to this and try to gather it together gently by mixing slowly with a light hand; please don’t knead it. Check if you are able to form a small ball with this dough; if you are unable to form balls or if the mixture appears to be dry, then add some more milk. Now cover the dough and keep it aside for 30 mins.

For making Sugar Syrup:

Heat a pan with sugar and water. Let the sugar dissolve in the water. Heat the sugar solution till it becomes sticky. Switch off the flame before the syrup reaches one thread consistency. Now add rose water and stir. Post stirring, keep the sugar solution aside.

On cooling if the sugar syrup crystallizes, then just add 2 to 3 tbsp water and warm the syrup again; it will again return to the liquid state.

Take the previously made dough and pinch out small balls, making them smooth and round (jamuns/dumplings). Cover these balls and keep them aside.

Heat oil in a pan till it is medium hot and then gently place these balls in the oil.

Don’t touch these jamuns (with the cooking spoon) till they are cooked a little bit. Once they start to have little golden spots, keep on rotating them in the oil so that they are evenly coloured. Remove the jamuns and then drain them on kitchen paper towels to remove the excess oil.

Fried jamun

Now place these hot jamuns in the sugar syrup. When all the jamuns are placed in the sugar syrup, then keep the pan (with the sugar syrup and jamuns) on a low flame for a few minutes till the gulab jamuns become soft or the sugar syrup starts to boil.

Heating helps the gulab jamuns to absorb the sugar syrup, become more soft and, increase in size by a bit. But take caution to not overcook them otherwise the jamuns will break.

Garnish these Gulab Jamun with finely chopped pistachios and rose petals. Feel free to enjoy them as you want – warm or cold. The classic combination is warm Gulab Jamun with vanilla ice cream !!

 

Insider Tips / Finer Points :

  • There should not be no lumps in the dough for the jamuns; presence of lumps will affect the texture of the gulab jamuns. Additionally the bits and pieces of khoya or paneer will give a bite in the mouth, resulting in not so smooth taste.

  • Do not knead the dough; just mix it gently otherwise the jamuns will be hard and will not soak the sugar syrup.

* Sugar syrup should not be thick otherwise it will not percolate inside the jamuns, resulting in the gulab jamuns becoming hard.

  • If you use more all-purpose flour (then required), there is a strong possibility of gulab jamuns becoming hard.

  • If the oil is too hot, then the jamun will get burnt and won’t get cooked from inside. So make sure you cook on low or a medium flame.

  • You can also deep fry the jamuns in clarified butter instead of oil; it will enhance the flavour more.

  • If the jamuns are splitting/breaking during deep frying then add some plain flour to the jamun dough and lightly mix it well. Pinch a small ball and drop it into the heated oil to test if it stays in shape without cracking.

  • To test if the oil is hot enough, drop one jamun into the oil. If it slowly floats to the surface of the oil without cracking and evenly turns brown then it is the right flame to fry all the gulab jamuns. But if the jamun sinks to the bottom and stays there, then the oil is not hot enough; or if the jamun quickly floats to the top as well as turns brown quickly, then the oil is too hot.

  • Try to use a large pan, so that the gulab jamuns are not overcrowded and you can easily stir them gently while they are simmering.

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