THE SECRET OF PERFECT GULAB JAMUNS
Many people have been asking me about my Gulab Jamun recipe. With Diwali round the corner and since it is the festive season I thought I should put this on the blog. Gulab Jamun is one of the very common Indian desserts. If you break down the words (Gulab + Jamun) these are sweet milk balls dipped in rose water scented syrup. Although Gulab Jamun is originally a Persian dish, you can find this delectable dessert at almost every Indian party or festivity. And once you have them, you cannot just have one. They are absolutely addictive. My husband who generally does not like sweets is quite fond of them. I have a weakness for desserts and I need to keep this sweet at bay the next day because I am capable of finishing the entire bowl in a day’s time.
Moving over to the recipe
INGREDIENTS & PREPARATION
Cooking time: 45 min
For the syrup:
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of water
Few cardamom pods
Few strands of saffron
Few drops of rose water
- Dissolve 2 cups of sugar in 2 cups of water. Add 4-5 cardamom pods, 7-8 strands of saffron and bring it to a boil on a medium flame. Also add 7-8 drops of rose water. You can also squeeze in a little lemon in order to prevent the syrup from caramelizing later. Switch off the flame when the syrup turns slightly sticky.
For the Gulab Jamuns:
100 gm. of ready-made Gulab Jamun mix
2-3 tablespoons of milk
Nuts (chopped pistachios/almonds)
Few strands of saffron
- I usually use the GITS Gulab Jamun Mix. You can make around 20 gulab jamuns with 100gms of the mix. If you don’t want to use the mix you can also make Khoya from scratch which is a slightly time consuming process.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of milk to the mix and prepare the dough. Add few more drops if required. Don’t worry if the dough turns too sticky. Keep it aside for 5-10 mins. The dough tends to become firm after it is exposed to air for some time.
- After the dough has rested for 10 mins you can start making the balls. The balls should be very tiny (the size of M&M candies or approx. 2cm in diameter) because they increase in size after frying and again double in volume after you immerse them into the sugar syrup.
- (Optional) You can add a filling of chopped pistachios, almonds and saffron inside to make the recipe more interesting.
- Care should be taken that there are no cracks formed on the balls. This is extremely important else the recipe won’t turn out well. For this, you can take some oil/ghee/butter on your palms while rolling the balls. Cover the balls with a wet cloth/paper towel to prevent them from drying and forming cracks.
- Take a deep frying pan and add oil to it. Heat it to a medium flame and then add the milk balls to it.
- Do not add too many balls at a time because they are going to increase in size and require space to move around in the pan.
TIP: Always fry the gulab jamuns on a low setting; I usually fry them on a 4 or 5 setting. Stir the oil in a circular motion while the balls are frying. You have to do this lightly without disturbing the balls. This way all the balls get an even color. The balls should be fried for at least 5-6 mins so that they are properly cooked from inside.
- Keep the balls aside for 5mins after they are fried. Warm the sugar syrup on a low flame and then add the balls to it.
- The sugar syrup should NOT be hot but should be slightly WARM when the balls are added for easy absorption. It usually takes around 3 hours for the gulab jamuns to soak up the syrup properly.
And you are done!
The recipe is quite simple and turns out perfect if you implement all the steps properly. Hope you enjoyed reading this. Do let me know how your recipe turns out.
Ciao for now.