Gulab Jamun Recipe

Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun is a traditional Indian sweet made of milk solids (khoya). These deep-fried dumplings made of khoya are dipped in a cardamom flavoured sugar syrup. The small dumplings soak up the flavoured sugar syrup and melts in the mouth when eaten.

Gulab Jamun is one of the most popular Indian sweet and you will find them at every wedding, party, and festivals. They can be eaten hot or cold. Gulab Jamun is my husband’s second favourite Indian mithai (sweet) after Jalebi. The melt in the mouth texture and aromatic flavours of the cardamom quickly makes it everyone’s favourite.

I know people often assume it to be a difficult sweet to prepare at home. However, I feel it quite a simple sweet to make if you follow the recipe properly.

Ingredients

For Paneer
500 gms cow milk
2 teaspoon lemon juice

For Gulab Jamun
250 gm khoya (mawa)
100 gm paneer
40 gm plain flour (maida)
1/4 teaspoon eno/bicarbonate of soda

For Sugar Syrup
21/2 cups sugar
2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon saffron strands
3 green cardomom (elaichi)
3-4 drops of kewra water
Ghee for frying
1 tablespoon chopped pistachios

Directions

Step-1

In a thick bottomed vessel boil the milk stirring occasionally to prevent it from burning. Once the milk comes to a boil, simmer and pour the lemon juice in it. Stir it till the milk curdles. Add more lemon if the milk is not coagulating well.

Drain the curdled milk over a cloth-lined colander. Squeeze off the water completely. Rinse off the curdled milk with fresh water to remove sourness of lemon juice.

Step-2

Grate the khoya. Add paneer, plain flour and bicarbonate of soda to the grated khoya. Knead the dough with the help of palm. There should be no lumps in it. Make a soft dough and grease the dough properly with the ghee. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

Step-3

In a pan, mix sugar with the water and boil. When it starts boiling add saffron strands and green cardamom in it. Then simmer it for 10 minutes till the sugar syrup turns slightly sticky. Switch off the gas and keep it aside.

Step-4

Divide the dough into 14 to 16 equal portions. Grease some ghee on the hands and make small balls out of the dough. (double the size of a marble) Roll them in so that there are no cracks or lines otherwise these cracks may be visible on the gulab jamuns also.

Fry the gulab jamuns until golden brown on low flame stirring in between.

Step-5

Once fried immediately, drop the hot jamuns into the hot sugar syrup. Switch off the flame and cover the lid and rest them for about 2 hours.

Serve them warm with garnished pistachios on their top.

Tips & Variations

  1. Plain flour is a binding agent in this recipe so if the gulab jamun breaks while frying, add a teaspoon more of plain flour to the dough and knead it well.
  2. Traditionally, Gulab Jamuns are fried in ghee. Hence, I have not given a variation in ingredients. However, if you are unable to source ghee then you can use oil.
  3. It is important to drop the hot gulab jamuns into hot sugar syrup, else they will not absorb syrup and result in hard consistency.
  4. I always find it easier to grease my hands with ghee/oil while rolling the gulab jamun into balls as that helps in making a smoother ball with no cracks.
  5. Gulab Jamun needs a leavening agent to make them rise. Hence, I have used eno/ bicarbonate of soda for it. However, it only needs a pinch as if you add lots of eno/bicarbonate of soda then the gulab jamuns will either disintegrate while frying or while soaking in syrup.
  6. While making paneer for curdling of milk, you can use vinegar or citric acid instead of lemon juice if you wish.
  7. The dough needs to be smooth and soft so you can add drops of warm milk until you have a soft dough.
  8. Remember not to over knead the dough. Mix until the dough comes together and then let it rest for 15-20 minutes. I always find using soft hands helps while kneading.
  9. It is important to fry gulab jamuns at low heat. If you fry at high heat, the jamuns will not be cooked from inside and will also turn hard. I always heat the ghee to medium heat and then lower the heat to low and then drop the balls in the oil.
  10. As the gulab jamuns need to be fried at low heat it takes time to get nice dark golden brown in colour. Frying gulab jamuns needs lots of patience!
  11. This is one of the Indian sweets wherein consistency of sugar syrup does not matter. Add all the ingredients and once it comes to a boil, let it simmer for 10 minutes only. The syrup thickens up as it cools. You need a thin syrup so that the gulab jamuns can absorb the syrup.

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