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Gulab Jamun – Indian Cooking Challenge


This month’s Indian Cooking Challenge was everybody’s favorite dessert – Gulab Jamun. Indian Cooking Challenge is an event hosted by Srivalli. This is my first entry for this event :). We had to make gulab jamuns from scratch, making even khoya at home. This was a great opportunity to learn making this delicacy at home, or I doubt when I would have tried this. There is certainly a noticeable difference between the homemade and store bought ones. The taste of khoya is what makes all the difference. My first experiment was a disaster, but I had high hopes and tried again! I followed Alka’s recipe and the gulab jamuns turned out awesome!! I used only cardamom for sugar syrup as my husband is not a fan of rose water. Also I soaked the jamuns in warm syrup, as I read somewhere that warm syrup is absorbed well by the jamuns.

Ingredients:

For sugar syrup:

Sugar – 2 cups
Water- 1 1/2 cups(bit more or less)
Cardamom – 2-3 pods
Milk – 1 tbsp (optional)
Saffron – Few threads(optional)
Rosewater – 2-3 drops(optional but highly recommended)

Method:

  • Mix about 500 gms of white sugar in one and half cup water and keep it for boiling.
  • Add a spoonful of milk to remove the impurities (impurities if any , will form a scum on surface).
  • Add 2-3 green cardamoms also in syrup for strong flavor, and a tad of saffron strings (optional).
  • Boil until you get just a tad sticky syrup. Gulabjamun syrup is not very dense nor too dilute as in Rasgulla.
  • Strain the syrup, add rose water when syrup is slightly cooled . Always remember two things while using rose water, do not add it while syrup is bubbling hot or on fire, and be particular about the quantity mentioned in every recipe, since even few drops of excess rosewater could lend a bitter taste to the final product.

For Gulabjamun:

Unsweetened Maawa* – 250 gms
All purpose flour – 1 & 1/2 – 2 tsp
Cornflour – 1 tsp
Green cardamom – 1-2 crushed
Oil for shallow frying

* (khoya- the condensed milk thickened till it turns into moist dough, preferably made from cow’s milk, also known as Hariyali mawa)

Method:

  • Mix all the ingredients, in a a wide mixing bowl or Thaal ,until soft textured dough is obtained (keep mixing until it is really soft).
  • Make very small sized balls (bit larger than pebbles) coz they swell up after frying and soaking in syrup.
  • Make sure that the surface of dough balls is really smooth (no cracks please).In case the cracks refuse to go away, slightly wet your palms with water and roll the flour till absolutely smooth.
  • Now take little oil for frying in preferably flat bottomed pan, and heat the oil. But gulab jamuns are to be fried on LOW FLAME or else the surface will be browned while the core will remain uncooked. Some prefer to place an unsalted pistachio in the center of every gulab jamun while making balls, that way the core of gulab jamun is not left uncooked.
  • Fry one or 2 gulab jamuns at a time and always remember to STIR THE OIL with slotted spoon AND NOT TO TOUCH GULAB JAMUNS , which means keep swirling the oil without tossing or turning gulab jamun.
  • Fry till light brown in color, remove on tissue paper and repeat the procedure with rest of dough.
  • Now soak these in COOL syrup for few hours. They will surely swell up.
  • These can be stored in the same syrup till consumed.
  • If there are cracks in the balls before frying it will burst open while frying, in that case adding a bit of corn flour will surely help.
  • You can enjoy it hot or cold ,either way it is delicious.

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