Gulab Jamun is easily the most popular and loved dessert in India. Gulab jamun is best described as an Indian version of a donut immersed in a sweet syrup. Gulab jamun recipe is especially dear to me . everyone can say they are truly following their passion. So in this spirit I decided I would present another version of Gulab Jamun. This recipe is simpler than my original recipe, but still delicious.
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes
Khova – 1-1/2 cups
Maida (all purpose flour) – 1 cup
Sugar – 3 cups
Water – 1 cup
Cooking/Baking Soda – 3 pinches ( 1 pinch would be 1/8th of tsp )
Cardamom – 4 pods ( I used 1/4 tsp cardamom powder )
Saffron – a few
Rose water/essence – 2-3 drops
For the Khova/Khoya
Method- to Make Khoya
Making Khoya at home is extremely simple and a satisfying process. I find that freshly made Khoya is the best for this recipe and store bought ones do not work as well as home made ones. See how to make Khoya at home.
2. Method – For the Jamuns Combine sugar and water in a flat bottomed broad pan and simmer on a low heat until sugar dissolves.
3. Add cardamom powder, rose essence and saffron and keep the sugar syrup on v low heat. We want the syrup warm not hot. Make sure it is near to where you are deep frying Jamuns. You want to make it easy to drop the jamuns directly into the syrup.
4. Heat oil on a medium flame. For that traditional rich taste, I used Ghee and oil 50-50 to deep fry.
5. Now mix the homemade Khova, all purpose flour (maida) and the cooking soda.
6. Knead all of them together. You might need few tsp. of water to form a smooth dough.
7. Add tsp at a time until you reach the correct dough consistency.
8. Form small balls of this dough. Make sure they are less than say small limes. This is important since they will become large while deep frying and larger when soaked in syrup. Another important point to note is to shape smooth balls. No cracks should be visible since this will cause the jamuns to disintegrate while soaked in the syrup. To make a smooth dough, one simple technique would be to grease your palms, either with ghee or oil while making the balls. ( Water works too but it would cause the oil to splutter all over)
9. Fry the jamuns till golden brown over a low to medium flame, keeping oil temperature uniform. Oil should not smoke.
10. You will find the jamuns go down, then in about 10 seconds or so, floating to the top. Its a wonder to see them rotating on their own in the oil. It seems that they like to brown uniformly well 😉
11. Once they get uniformly brown on all the sides, remove them from the oil making sure to drain the excess oil and
12. drop it straightaway on the warm syrup on the side. The hot jamuns in the warm syrup (not hot) helps them to soak the syrup well making them incredibly soft. And if you made sure to keep the size and the smoothness intact, they will not fall apart either and hold their shape.
13. You can of course deep fry 3-4 jamuns together depending on the size. But make sure not to crowd them since it would bring down the temperature of the oil/ghee and the result would not be that good and the jamuns wont be cooked inside and might end up being soggy!
14. Drop all the fried jamuns in the syrup and let it soak for at least 1 -2 hours for them to soak the syrup. You can increase the syrup in the original recipe if you want the Jamuns to float in the syrup. Also if you live in a cold place, you will find the sugar syrup thickening up if you keep it for some time. I find that increasing the water to another 1 cup (that’s 2 cups water for 3 cups sugar), makes a thinner syrup in such cases. You know you have made the perfect jamuns when you see them absorbing the syrup but continuing to float in the syrup. If they are dense or heavy, they will sink to the bottom!