Gulab Jamuns are one of my favorite Indian desserts. The sugar syrup-soaked deep fried balls made with a milk/flour dough with a hint of saffron and cardamom may be too sweet for some, but for me, it is the perfect dessert served by itself or with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream. For years, I used the mix made by Gits, a famous Indian instant food brand. But once my aunt taught me how to make these, there was no looking back. The recipe is foolproof, it turns out the perfect Gulab Jamuns each time and each person that has tried these wants the recipe promptly. So, here’s how I make my favorite sweet and if you do give this a try, I’d love to get your feedback.
- 1 cup milk powder
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup ghee
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3/4 cup milk (I use it straight from the fridge, but it can be at room temperature)
- 3 cups sugar
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- A strand of saffron, crushed
- Oil for deep frying (I used vegetable oil)
1. Mix the milk powder, flour, baking soda, ghee, and the tbsp of sugar. Add the milk slowly and mix the ingredients into a dough that is nice and moist and not dry. Hold back some of the milk if your dough has already come together nicely. Cover this mixture with plastic wrap and set aside for three hours.
2. After three hours, pinch off little balls of dough and make into smooth balls about 1 cm in diameter. Continue to make these balls, placing each one on a plate, ensuring they are not sticking to one another.
3.. When all the dough balls are made, heat enough oil to deep fry the balls. Test the oil temperature by dropping a little piece of dough. When it rises to the top immediately, you are ready to fry the balls. Fry the balls in batches, turning them gently till they are evenly golden brown. Transfer to a plate set up with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
4. Now make the sugar syrup. Take the 3 cups of sugar in a large flat bottomed pan, add four cups of water, and bring the mixture to a boil. This takes about 20 minutes. Now add the saffron and cardamom, give it a swirl, and reduce the heat to low.
5. Now add the fried balls to the sugar syrup, gently tapping it into the sugar syrup so it can absorb the liquid. Set aside for 30 minutes and then serve warm or cold, either by itself or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.