Gulab jamun is a milk-solids based Indian dessert and very popular during festivals, special occasions like weddings or birthday parties. These milk solids known as khoya or mawa are kneaded into a dough with little all purpose flour and then shaped into small balls. They are then deep-fried and then soaked in a sugary syrup flavored with green cardamom and rose essense or saffron. It gets its name from Gulab and Jaman which means rose for the rose flavored syrup and Jamun which is the deep fried light or dark brown dumplings. Gulab jamun is best served warm or cold or at room temperature or topped with ice-cream.
Khoya Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 1 cup
All purpose flour or maida Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 3 tablespoons
Cooking soda Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 1/4 teaspoon
Oil for deep frying
FOR THE SUGAR SYRUP Sugar Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 1 1/2 cups Water Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 1 1/2 cups Saffron Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 10-12 strands Rose essence Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 3-4 drops Cardamom powder Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
Crumble the khoya thoroughly or mash it well by hand. Ensure there are no lumps or pieces in the khoya. Take a mixing bowl and add the crumbled khoya. To this add maida and cooking soda and mix well.
Add very little water or just sprinkle water to form a smooth and soft dough. No need to knead the dough. Just gather them together to form a dough. Cover the dough aside for 15-20 minutes. Roll out gently to make smooth balls out of the dough.
Heat a heavy bottomed pan on a low flame. Add sugar, saffron strings and water and heat the sugar solution till the sugar is completely dissolved. Do not make it too sticky. Add cardamom powder and mix well. Switch off the flame once the sugar is dissolved fully. Ensure that it does not reach the one string consistency.
Heat oil in a pan on medium flame. When it is medium hot, lower the flame and gently slide the balls into the oil. Roll the jamuns with a ladle for even cooking and colouring. Add 3-4 jamuns at a time so that it is evenly cooked.
Remove the fried jamuns into an absorbent paper to remove the excess oil. Place the hot jamuns into the warm sugar syrup. Finally add rose essence. Cover and let it rest for an hour. This helps the jamuns to absorb the sugar syrup well. They also increase a bit in size.
Serve gulab jamuns hot or warm or garnished with nuts of your choice. You can also refrigerate and serve chilled topped with icecream.
NOTES/TIPS_x000D_ _x000D_ Dont knead the dough. Just gently mix and form the balls. If the mixture is dry, add few drops of milk or water and then form balls._x000D_ _x000D_ Ensure there are no lumps or small bits in the khoya. You can also grate the khoya._x000D_ _x000D_ Ensure there are no cracks in the balls. Otherwise it might break while frying._x000D_ _x000D_ While deep frying, oil should be low hot to ensure even cooking and coloring. Or else it gets browned fast._x000D_ _x000D_ The sugar syrup should be warm before you add the fried jamuns to the sugar solution. The syrup should be prepared earlier and kept warm._x000D_ _x000D_ If the oil is too hot, then the gulab jamuns tend to break. Adjust the flame to ensure that the gulab jamuns do not break or cook too quickly._x000D_ _x000D_ You can make small balls as they tend to increase in size once it is soaked in sugar syrup.
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