1 cup milk powder
1/3 cup Plain Flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt (Optional)
1 Tbsp yoghurt or 2 Tbsp full fat milk
1 tsp ghee or oil
Few slivers of pistachio or almonds for garnishing
For Sugar Syrup:
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups water
8 green cardamoms, peeled and seeds crushed to fine powder
A generous pinch of saffron
1 tsp rose water
Prepare the sugar syrup:
Add sugar and water in a wide pan and heat it on a medium flame.
Once the sugar has dissolved completely, add cardamom powder and bring it to boil, stirring every now and then. Let the sugar syrup thicken slightly, about 2-3 minutes after coming to boil. Turn off the flame and run the sugar syrup through fine sieve to remove any impurities.
Transfer the sugar syrup back into the wide pan and mix in saffron and rose water if using. Let it cool down to room temperature.
Prepare the Gulab Jamuns:
While the sugar syrup is cooling down, prepare the Gulab Jamun mixture. Sieve milk powder, plain flour, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl.
Mix in yogurt or milk and ghee/oil and start to mix the ingredients lightly to make soft sticky dough. I didn’t need to add more than a tbsp of yoghurt and a tsp of ghee but if you find the mixture too dry and crumbly, just add little yoghurt or milk about 1/2 tsp at time until you get a sticky soft dough. Make sure that you don’t over mix or knead the dough as you don’t want the gluten to form.
Grease your palms with ghee or oil and pinch marble sized dough and roll it into smooth balls. Make sure to make them small as they double in size once they are fried and soaked in sugar syrup.
Keep in mind that the dough balls should be smooth without any cracks as they will split and crumble when deep frying. Arrange the balls on a plate and cover it with a kitchen towel to prevent from drying out.
Deep frying the Gulab Jamuns:
Heat oil in a pan, then reduce the flame to low. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop one ball into the oil. The dough ball should slowly float to the surface of the oil. If the dough ball sinks to the bottom and stays there, then the oil is not hot enough. If the dough ball quickly floats to the top as well as browns quickly, then the oil is too hot.
Ideally the dough balls should not crack when deep frying. If you find them splitting open or breaking when deep frying, mix 1 or 2 tsp of plain flour to the dough mixture and lightly mix them well. Pinch a small ball and test if stays in shape without cracking by dropping it into heated oil. If it slowly floats to the surface of the oil without cracking and evenly browns then you have mastered the art of making Gulab Jamun.
Gently drop 3-4 dough balls into the hot oil and stir with them with a slotted spoon so they are evenly browned on all sides. Be careful when stirring them with slotted spoon as they are quite soft and can break if you are not gentle. Once they turn golden brown, remove them from oil with a help of a slotted spoon and transfer them to the prepared sugar syrup.
Prepare all the Gulab Jamun and let them rest in the sugar syrup for at least 1 - 2 hours before serving so that they absorb the sugar syrup well and become soft and melt in the mouth.
You can serve these delicious melt in mouth Gulab Jamun warm, cold or chilled on their own, garnished with slivered almonds or pistachio and a generous spoonful of sugar syrup drizzled on top.
Credits: Sia Krishna
Photo Credits: Kiran Tarun