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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!