Cooking with Ria – Gulab jamun

Gulab jamun

it was just under a year ago I first tried gulab jamun. I was on holiday, and Babu was sneaking to my cabin to see me, the only way to make himself look inconspicuous was to carry some food on a try with him – lucky for me that he picked up gulab jamun, I have never looked back.

Those soft, doughnutty, sweet, just mmmm little balls of goodness! Then I met a problem, I could not get any anywhere, I even found myself begging the manager of the local Indian restaurant to start selling them! Did I really have to wait until my next cruise to taste these lovely morsels again? No, I just couldn’t! So I got myself a recipe and got cracking!

I’ll be honest the first ones were a disaster – tip number 1 – make sure the temperature of the oil is loooow!! Or you end up with burnt dough balls! 40 gulab jamun later and I think I’ve cracked it! So I thought I’d share this recipe with you.. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!!
Gulab Jamun – makes 20

For the syrup…
2 cups Sugar
1 cup water
5 cardamom pods
Few strands of saffron

For the gulab jamun…
1 cup Milk Powder (I used marvel)
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons melted butter
Whole milk

1) To make the syrup pour all of the ingredients into a pan and heat until the sugar is melted – don’t over do it because we don’t want the sugar to caramelise. Keep it warm on a really low hob, or if your using a heavy bottomed pan it’ll be fine set aside.

Sugar syrup

The sugar syrup before and after the sugar is melted

2) To make the dough put the milk powder, flower, bicarbonate of soda and butter into a food processor and blast until mixed. Keep mixing, Gradually adding milk until you have a nice smooth dough ball.

Mix up those gulab jamuns!

3) Pop some oil into a small pan, a minimum of about 5cm deep (I used a milk pan) and heat it up slowly – don’t let it get too hot, I use the smallest ring on the lowest setting.

4) Separate the dough into 20 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Cover with a damp tea towel or kitchen towel so they don’t dry out.

roll up those gulab jamons
5) Lower the gulab jamuns into the oil. I find it is best to cook 5 at a time.

6) Keep an eye on them, poking them a bit to ensure they brown on all sides. They should take about 7-8 mins to cook right through. If your not sure, take one out and cut it in half to check.

Cooking gulab jamun

The gulab jamuns at the different stages of cooking

7) Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a kitchen towel for a few seconds to let the oil drain off, then place into the syrup.

8) Repeat until they’re all cooked, leave to soak in the syrup for at least half an hour.

Gulab jamons in the pan
9) Eat eat eat, and be quick because they won’t last long!

And so you don’t go wrong where I did, a few tips . .

– Be REALLY careful how hot the oil is – as in not very hot! you don’t want black little bullets!

– Be careful when putting in the milk to ensure you put just enough to bring the dough together  -to much means really dense chewy jamuns (believe me, not good!)

– Don’t eat them whilst your making them!! you’ll end up feeling sick before you get anywhere near to serving them up!



12 responses to “Cooking with Ria – Gulab jamun

  • pseudointellectualviewpoint

    that is nice. you got the hang of it. Gulab Jamuns are lovely but the only hitch is that one puts on weight coz they are deep fried lol.
    Try rasgullas as well 🙂

    • ria

      Indeed, which is why I have avoided making them up until now – as a general rule we don’t deep fry in this house – in fact u usually use non-stick pans to avoid using fat all together where possible! Had to specifically buy cooking oil for this purpose!

      At least most of these are leaving the house as I made them for Babu who i am seeing briefly today 🙂

      • pseudointellectualviewpoint

        oh great. so you are seeing each other again. Lol way to load Babu up on the fat quotient. hehe. Im sure he was thrilled by the treat.
        Need to find myself my own Gori Gulab Jamun maker 😉

        • ria

          Yup, had a whole 2 and a half hours together! Didn’t get his verdict on them though cos he said he needed to pray to god before eating them, so eagerly awaiting the verdict when we speak next on Wednesday!

          No no no, gori gulab jamun makers are not good for your health – this is an official warning – and it makes her tubby too – believe me – diet tomorrow me thinks!! Ugh!!!

          • pseudointellectualviewpoint

            Only 2.5 hours?! Gosh now that is painful. The Gulab Jamuns would have sweetened the deal for sure.
            As a woman you should wonder why he needs to pray to god before eating something you cooked :p. I am just kidding. Sure he is thrilled and they look scrumptious.
            And one or two of em really should not matter. Dont go on a crash diet. I will make do without a gori gulab jamun maker….sigh.

            • ria

              I know… The things we endure for love… At least things can only get better!

              I am slightly nervous, it will be the first time he eats anything I’ve cooked him! Gosh, don’t i sound like a proper little Indian housewife…so eager to please!

              If only I could crash diet… I love food too much!!

  • Tim Rider

    those dont look too bad at all

    nice attempt

  • Elizabeth

    thank you i eill try once at least 😀

  • Mohit

    Wow ! You made Gulab Jamun. I had to say, you are awesome. I had an American friend who was also in love with an Indian. And she made great cakes and Indian dishes also. You remind me of her.

    So sweet of you.

    I have to say that women all over the world are same. At least how they perfect the art of cooking. 😉

    Anyway, whenever you come to Delhi, I won’t let you leave without you making these tasty gulab jamun for us.

    Keep sweetening the life of your sweetheart 🙂

    • ria

      Hehe, mean to say if I drop by and visit you Mohit that you will have me in the kitchen cooking for you 😉

      Honestly though… I love to cook, it is one of my passions, the more different or interesting the better as far as I am concerned!

      Also… Made jalebi at the weekend – they did come from a packet mix though and having never had any before I have no idea if they resembled the real thing :-s

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