Gulab jamun is a traditional Indian dessert, known as "Queen of Indian sweets". This red-brown coloured sweet balls are made with khoya (or milk solid), fried golden and finally dipped in saffron induced sugar syrup.
This is one of the most widely available desserts throughout India. When walking through streets in India you can often see shops making and frying Gulab Jamuns with their fresh aroma filling the streets immediately bringing water to your mouth.
Aren’t we all big fans of sweet and syrupy delicacies in life? This is particularly true when you have some celebration or festive occasion coming up.
There is no doubt that Indian festivals are incomplete without a lavish serving of sweets and desserts.
Gulab Jamun, or fondly called Kala Jamun, is one of the most popular Indian desert. The word “Gulab” means rose in Hindi & “Jamun” means berry. So, Gulab Jamun are berry-sized balls dipped in flavored sugar syrup. The main constituent of Gulab Jamun is milk solid, traditionally called Khoya.
Like most recipes, Gulab Jamun has also undergone transformation to suit the palate of the new-age population. Modern recipes make use of powdered or condensed milk instead of khoya. Gulab Jamun is finally garnished with dried nuts such as pistachios, almonds, and cashews to enhance its look and flavor.
The delectable sweet is traditionally prepared using the following recipe-
Ingredients for Gulab Jamun balls
Milk-1.25 liters full-fat whole milk or 5 cups milk (makes 250 gm khoya)
Oil or ghee- Good enough for frying
Ingredients for sugar syrup
- Sugar- 1.5 cups
- Green cardamoms-4
- Normal water 1.5 cups
- Rosewater- 1 tbsp
- Saffron- 6-7 strands
- Chopped almonds and pistachios- for garnishing
How to make Gulab Jamun balls
- Heat milk on a low flame till the water evaporates and only milk solid remains. You have to keep stirring at regular intervals or the milk will stick to the bottom of the pan.
- This milk solid, called khoya, is kneaded into a dough, adding a small amount of flour (maida).
- The dough is shaped into round balls and deep-fried in oil or ghee on low-medium flame till you get the familiar golden brown color.
- You must take care not to cook the balls quickly or they remain raw on the inside.
- These fried balls are then soaked in sugar syrup flavored with saffron, green cardamom, and rose water.
How to make the sugar syrup
- Add sugar and crushed 4 green cardamoms to a pan.
- Add 1.5 cups of normal water.
- Boil this until the syrup turns slightly sticky. Do not make it of one string consistency.
- Make the syrup correctly. It is important for the Gulab Jamun recipe. If you go past the sticky syrup and get a one string consistency, then Gulab Jamuns will turn very soft and break. Therefore, check carefully. Turn off the gas. Add saffron, and rose water. You may also add chopped almonds and pistachios for garnishing.
Gulab Jamuns are best enjoyed hot.