Navratri festival is just ended. And now everyone has started preparing for Diwali celebrations. So I came up with Gulab Jamun sweet which is most common sweet made in diwali all over the India. My mom always make batch of these delicious soft gulab jamun 5 days before diwali. So we enjoy those for a week without worrying about calories.
Gulab jamuns are made from khoya. And fried balls are soaked in sugar syrup. It is so soft, spongy and juicy (from soaked syrup) and melt in your mouth. The name comes from rose water or rose essence is added in sugar syrup in ancient time. So rose means ‘gulab’ and fried and soaked ball known as ‘jamun’.
While making gulab jamun you have to keep few points in your mind which I have mentioned here in ingredients notes and in cooking notes at the end of recipe. If you make this carefully with those points in your mind then you will never fail in this recipe. And you will get perfect soft, spongy and melt in your mouth jamuns. So let’s get started
Adapted from – “Mithai (Total Health Series)” by Tarla Dalal
Cuisine – Indian
Recipe Category – Dessert
Skill Level – Intermediate
- • Khoya or Mawa – 1 cup **Notes
- • All purpose flour (Maida) – 2 ½ tablespoons
- • Cardamom powder – ¼ teaspoon
- • Water – 1 ½ tablespoons **Notes
- • Ghee or oil – for deep frying **Notes
For sugar syrup
- • Sugar – 1 ½ cups
- • Water – 1 ½ cups
- • Cardamom powder – ¼ teaspoon
- • Saffron – few strands
- • Rose essence – 2-3 drops
- Khoya or Mava – I have used frozen khoya. Here in USA, you will find khoya in frozen section next to paneer in any Indian grocery stores. But if you get fresh khoya then it is best.
- Water – water quantity depends on your khoya. If your frozen khoya is more dry then you will need more water. If you are using fresh khoya then might be you don’t need any water. So decide according to your khoya quality to get firm dough. And one more thing, if your fresh khoya has more moisture then you might need some more flour to get firm dough.
- Ghee or Oil – If you want richer taste then use ghee otherwise use oil. You can use combination of both ghee and oil. Or you can add 3 spoonful of ghee in oil for little flavor.
- If using frozen, grate khoya using fine shredder. And measure it to tightly packed 1 cup.
- Take khoya, all purpose flour, cardamom powder in a bowl.
- Mix it will. It will start to come together and looks crumbly.
- Add water to make firm dough. (Refer Ingredients notes.)
- Now take small portion of dough and roll it into a smooth ball. Ball should not have any wrinkles.
- Make all the balls and keep in refrigerator for 10 minutes. I am able to make 22 balls.
- In a large sauce pan, take sugar, saffron and cardamom powder.
- Add water and rose essence to it.
- Turn on the stove on medium heat. Sugar will dissolve in water. And it starts to boil. Let it boil for 3 minutes. Then turn off the stove. Keep sugar syrup warm.
- While sugar syrup is simmering, heat the ghee or oil in a pan on low heat for deep frying jamuns. Once oil is hot, add few balls at a time.
- And deep fry till golden brown. Oil should not be smoky. Keep the gas heat low. Keep moving balls around while frying for even frying.
- Take them out in a plate. And fry all jamuns.
- Now if your syrup is cold, then warm it up. Add all fried jamun to syrup. Let it soak for 2-3 hours in syrup before serving.
• Taste – soft and rich gulab jamuns and sweet from sugar syrup
• Shelf life – you can keep gulab jamun at room temperature in air tight container upto a week. Make sure that gulab jamuns are in single layer when store in container. You can keep them in refrigerator up to a month. You can freeze them with syrup upto 3 months.
• Serving suggestion – garnish it with chopped nuts (almonds or pistachios) or coconut for delicious look. Serve it with some syrup or without syrup as per your preference. You can serve warm or cold. To serve warm, microwave it for few seconds. It usually serves on festivals or celebrations like Diwali.
• Cooking tips –
- Keep sugar syrup warm till you add jamuns in sugar syrup. So jamuns get chance to soak syrup more.
- While making balls from dough, make sure it has smooth surface. It should not have any wrinkles.
- Make balls small enough from the dough. Don’t make it too big because its size will increase when fried and soaked in syrup.
- Do not heat the oil till smoky. It should be medium hot. If your oil is too hot then jamuns will get brown too quickly from outside and it will stay uncooked from middle and become hard. How to check oil is hot enough or not? If you drop a very small portion of dough into oil it should take some time to come up on top. If dough comes up too quickly then oil is too hot. And if it sits at bottom and takes too much time come on top then oil is not hot enough.
- Do not over crowd gulab jamuns while frying. If you over crown then then it would bring down the oil temperature and jamun’s won’t cook properly and it will absorb more oil.
- Keep moving gulab jamuns around in oil while frying for even frying.- When you soak them in sugar syrup, it will float on top. If it sink to bottom that means they are not cooked properly, they are dense and heavy.