October 31, 2009

Gulab Jamuns for Indian Cooking Challenge

I am excited to participate in this month's Indian Cooking Challenge to make homemade Gulab Jamuns from scratch. This event is hosted by Srivalli of Spice your Life. I used a combination of Alka's recipe, techniques from a cooking class from Mr. Somshekar in Bangalore, and well of my own flair to create the most mouthwatering Gulab Jamuns ever. I used 6 cups of milk and 2 cups of sugar for the syrup. The only change I made was after I fried the jamuns I soaked them in water for a minute before transferring them to the syrup so there would be no oil remains in the syrup. The jamuns came out beautifully and were a big hit among my family and friends.

For sugar syrup:


Sugar - 500 gms (This can be reduced as per taste)
Water - 1 & 1/2 cup (bit more or less)
Cardamom - 2-3
One spoon of milk (optional)
Few threads of saffron (optional)
2-3 drops of rosewater (optional but highly recommended)


1. Mix about 500 gms of white sugar in one and half cup water and keep it for boiling.

2. Add a spoonful of milk to remove the impurities (impurities if any, will form a scum on surface)

3. Add 2-3 green cardamoms also in syrup for strong flavor, and a tad of saffron strings (optional)

4. Boil until you get just a tad sticky syrup. Gulab Jamun syrup is not very dense nor too dilute as in Rasgulla

5. Strain the syrup, add rosewater when syrup is slightly cooled.

Always remember two things while using rose water, do not add it while syrup is bubbling hot or on fire, and be particular about the quantity mentioned in every recipe, since even few drops of excess rosewater could lend a bitter taste to the final product.

For Gulab Jamun:


Unsweetened Maawa* - 250 gms
All purpose flour - 1 & 1/2 - 2 tsp
Cornflour - 1 tsp
Green cardamom - 1-2 crushed
Oil for shallow frying

* (khoya-the condensed milk thickened till it turns into moist dough, preferably made from cow’s milk, also known as Hariyali mawa)


1. Mix all the ingredients in a wide mixing bowl until soft textured dough is obtained (keep mixing until it is really soft)

2. Make very small sized balls (bit larger than pebbles) as they swell up after frying and soaking in syrup

3. Make sure that the surface of dough balls is really smooth without any cracks. In case the cracks refuse to go away, slightly wet your palms with water and roll the flour till absolutely smooth.

4. Now take little oil for frying in preferably flat bottomed pan, and heat the oil. But gulab jamuns are to be fried on LOW FLAME or else the surface will be browned while the core will remain uncooked. Some prefer to place an unsalted pistachio in the center of every gulab jamun while making balls, that way the core of gulab jamun is not left uncooked .

5. Fry one or 2 gulab jamuns at a time and always remember to STIR THE OIL with slotted spoon AND NOT TO TOUCH GULABJAMUNS, which means keep swirling the oil without tossing or turning gulab jamun.

6. Fry till light brown in colour, remove on tissue paper and repeat the procedure with rest of dough.

7. Now soak these in COOL syrup for few hours. They will surely swell up