Gulab Jamun

I am really excited for this dish!

Gulab Jamun is a sweet treat from the Indian subcontinent and is popular in India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Maldives, and Bangladesh. It is also common in Mauritius, Fiji, southern and eastern Africa, Malay Peninsula, and the Caribbean countries of Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname and Jamaica.

My first experience with gulab jamun was at an Indian bakery while I was living in Dallas. I could not get enough of the sticky sweet syrup and the texture of the ball- it was both spongy and absorbent of the syrup it is surrounded it without falling apart and losing it's structure.

I appreciated the simplicity of the recipe but felt the pressure of living up to the memories I, and countless people, have with this dessert. When the balls are being fried they expand, and was my favorite part of the whole cooking process (that or how the balls absorb the hot syrup).

This dish is part of our Plate to Plate series inspired by A_Z_Foodies recent post of Gulab Jamun.

For the dough:

  • Powdered whole milk (start with one cup, and add more if needed to achieve a dough you can handle with your hands)
  • 3 Tablespoons wheat flour
  • 2 Tablespoons melted ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • finely chopped pistachios
  • 1 pinch green cardamom
  • Oil (to fry the balls, about 2-3 inches deep in a pot)
For the syrup:
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 7 fl oz water
  • 1 teaspoon pistachio flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon almond flavoring

Add the milk powder, flour, baking powder, pistachios, and cardamom to a mixing bowl. Warm the milk and add the ghee, pour the liquids into the mixing bowl and stir together. Cover the bowl and leave for 20 minutes

While the mixture is resting add the white sugar, water, and flavorings to a sauce pan and heat till well the sugar is dissolved and set aside. 

Add oil to a pot and heat. The oil does not need to be very hot as the dough needs time to expand and fully cook. If the oil is too hot the outside will be done before the inside has finished cooking.

Returning to the mixing bowl, if the dough is still loose add more milk powder a few tablespoons at a time until the dough thickens and can be handled to roll into balls. Use a 0.5 oz disher/scoop to portion the dough and roll in your palms to smooth the ball. 

Add about 6 balls at a time to your pot, the balls will sink to the bottom and will rise to the top as the dough expands. Push or bob the balls down into the oil to ensure even cooking, and remove from the pot once the balls are full expanded and golden brown. Set the balls on a wire rack over paper to drain and cool while the remaining balls are fried. 

Once all of the balls are cooled and drained of oil, add the balls to a pie plate or other dish and pour the warm liquid over each ball to absorb the syrup. Once all the syrup has been poured into the dish, use the back of a spoon to gently push the balls to absorb more syrup. 

I left my gulab jamun in the remaining syrup and served them warm with some finely chopped pistachios on top. They are also excellent cold! 

Instagram Post | Gulab Jamun