Gulab jamun is a beloved Indian dessert. It consists of fried balls of dough made from milk solids and semolina, soaked with an aromatic syrup spiced with green cardamom, rose water, saffron, and more. This dish is most loved among young children. It is important to pay close attention to the ingredients and temperatures to yield sweet, light Gulab jamuns with moist interiors. The floral, fruity quality of the syrup is particularly important.
“Gulab jamun” literally translates into “Rosewater” and “black plum”. This juicy dessert is all worth the hard work it takes to make. In this recipe, you will find stepwise instructions to do so.
The total preparation time for this dessert is 12 hours with only one active hour. This recipe will yield you around 18 Gulab Jamuns which will equate to around 4-6 servings.
You can always adjust the amount of ingredient as per your requirement.
The ingredients for this dish are simple and easy to find.
For the syrup;
|1.||Water||2 cups (480 ml)|
|2.||Sugar||14 ounces (2 cups; 400gm)|
|3.||Lemon Juice||1 tablespoon (15 ml)|
|4.||Saffron||1 pinch (15 strands)|
|5.||Crushed cardamom||4 pods|
|7.||Rosewater||1 teaspoon (5ml)|
For the Jamuns;
|1.||Semolina flour||1.4 ounces (1/4 cup; 40gm)|
|2.||Milk||¼ cup (60 ml)|
|3.||Non-fat dried milk powder||5.3 ounces (2 cups; 150gm)|
|4.||Baking powder||1 teaspoon|
|5.||Ground green cardamom||½ teaspoon|
|6.||Diamond Crystal Kosher salt||1/8 teaspoon|
|7.||Heavy cream||6 tablespoons (90 ml) or more as needed|
|8.||Grapeseed oil||3 cups (720 ml)|
|9.||Chopped pistachios and cashews for garnish||3 tablespoons (25g)|
For the Syrup:
Mix the water, sugar, lemon juice, saffron, cardamom, and cloves in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and keep stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until a drop of the syrup pressed between two teaspoons forms a sticky, thin thread when spoons are pulled apart for about 5 minutes.
Then, remove from heat, stir in rosewater. Cover the pot and set it aside keeping it warm.
For the Jamuns:
Take a small bowl and stir in the milk and semolina together. Set the mixture aside for around 30 minutes to allow the semolina to soak.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. Take a large bowl and whisk in together the milk powder, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Sift the mixture twice through a fine-mesh strainer onto the prepared baking sheet. Use clean hands or a bowl scraper to break up any lumps that might be left behind in the strainer basket.
Now, transfer the sifted mixture back to a large bowl. Create a small well in the centre, return the sheet of parchment to the baking sheet, and set it aside.
Add the semolina-milk mixture along with 1/4 cup (60ml) cream to the centre of the well and mix ingredients to form a stiff but sticky dough. You can add more cream (1 tablespoon at a time) if the mixture seems too dry until a dough is formed.
It is important to not mix the dough too aggressively and instead press the ingredients together gently.
Now to form the Jamuns, take a tablespoon of dough and roll it in your palm to create a smooth 1-inch ball. The dough will be sticky in the beginning but your palm heat will allow it to soften making the process easier. Use a drop of heavy cream in the cracks to smoothen it out. Arrange the Jamun balls on the reserved parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat the process until all the dough is finished. You should have around 18 balls.
Heat ghee or oil over medium-high heat in a medium-sized saucepan or Dutch oven. Line a plate with paper towels and working in two batches, carefully add half the dough balls one at a time in the hot oil. Use a slotted spoon and immediately move each ball as it is added to the oil to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. While cooking, occasionally move the balls around to ensure even cooking. Cooke until the Jamuns are golden brown for around 3 minutes.
Transfer the cooked balls to the plate lined with paper towels and let them rest for half a minute. Now, transfer them into the saucepan of scented syrup prepared earlier.
Let the dough balls soak in the syrup for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. You can transfer the setting in the refrigerator after the initial first 4 hours.
To serve, heat the Gulab jamuns at low heat until it is warmed thoroughly. Transfer them into individual serving plates and add the syrup generously over the top. Garnish with chopped pistachios and cashews. Your delicious Gulab Jamuns are ready to be relished!