Gulab Jamuns

Gulab Jamuns

Gulab Jamuns: The heart and soul of every desi person. These smooth, soft balls are among the most popular sweets at all the mithai shops. Luckily, 10 minutes of effort are all that lies between you and these blissful little things!

Gulab means rose and jamun is a type of berry, making ‘rose berries’ the literal translation of ‘gulab jamuns’. This is because the sugar syrup these balls are soaked in is traditionally rose flavored and the balls are the size of (jamun) berries.

How are homemade Gulab Jamuns different from the store-bought ones?

Homemade gulab jamuns are usually made from dry milk powder. The other key ingredients are a little bit of baking powder, flour, and clarified butter (also know as ghee). Some people do choose to make these at home from dried evaporated milk solids (also know as khoya). Khoya-based gulab jamuns taste even better, but the process is a bit longer.

How should the sugar syrup be?

The sugar syrups used for gulab jamuns is traditionally rose flavored but can also be flavored with saffron and green cardamoms. The consistency should be only slightly sticky unlike the sugar syrup used for jalebis (which is quite thick). The slightly sticky consistency of syrup comes right before the one-string stage.

P.S. Smooth and perfect rounds of gulab jamuns, floating in syrup, is my absolute favorite thing to look at. Do I sneak a piece into my mouth every time I pass by them? Guilty as charged.

Tips for perfect gulab jamuns

When you make the dough balls, they should be smooth. If you see cracks on the balls, add a little milk, mix your dough again and then make balls.

The gulab jamun ingredients only need to mixed properly. Do not knead the dough, as it will build the gluten and result in harder gulab jamuns.

The sugar syrup should have a slightly sticky consistency. It should not be watery and should not be too thick.

Sugar syrup should be warm when you place the fried gulab jamuns into it.

So, are you ready to try it? Here goes the recipe!

gulab jamuns

Gulab Jamun

The Ovenist
Soft, melt-in-your mouth gulab jamuns that are the heart and soul of every desi person. Luckily, 10 minutes of effort are all that lies between you and these blissful little things.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine bangladeshi, Indian, nepali, Pakistani

Ingredients
  

FOR THE SUGAR SYRUP

  • 1 cup water
  • cup sugar
  • ½ tablespoon Lemon juice
  • 7-8 green cardamoms
  • 1 drop kewra essence

FOR THE GULAB JAMUN

  • 1 cup dry milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter/ghee
  • oil and/or clarified butter(ghee) for frying

Instructions
 

FOR SUGAR SYRUP

  • In a medium pot, add sugar, green cardamoms and water, and let it cook. When the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, then lower flame and cook for 5 minutes. Switch off the flame, add kewra essence and lemon juice.

FOR GULAB JAMUN

  • Heat oil + some ghee in a wok on low flame.
  • In a bowl, add milk powder, all-purpose flour, baking powder, clarified butter/ghee and whisked egg. Mix and knead well until well incorporated. You should have a smooth shiny dough. Grease your hands with a little oil, and quickly make small balls. Balls should also be smooth and shiny.
  • Keep the flame low. Drop the balls into the oil. Don't stir till they rise to the top. Once the balls rise to the top, keep stirring carefully to ensure even browning. When golden brown, take them out of the oil using a skimmer spoon, let excess oil drip and then transfer into the sugar syrup. Let them stay in the syrup till it's time to serve.

Notes

When you make the dough balls, they should be smooth. If you see cracks on the balls, add a little milk, mix your dough again and then make balls.
The gulab jamun ingredients only need to mixed properly. Do not knead the dough, as it will build the gluten and result in harder gulab jamuns.
The sugar syrup should have a slightly sticky consistency. It should not be watery and should not be too thick.
Sugar syrup should be warm when you place the fried gulab jamuns into it.
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