Gulab Jamuns have an elder sibling, called Kaala Jamuns or Kala Jaam. They, vis-a-vis their copper coloured siblings Gulab Jamuns, have a thicker, tougher outer covering,denser inner texture and almost black colour which gives them their name, Kaala meaning black. I saw a beautiful picture of Kaala Jamuns a few days back and wanted to try making them. Played around with my Gulab Jamun recipe this morning and was very happy with the results.
For the Filling
Khoya-paneer mixture- 2 Tbsp (taken from the khoya-paneer mixture)
Food colour , any – a drop or two( may use a pinch of saffron instead , steeped in a Tbsp of warm milk)
Sugar- ½ Tsp
Cashews, roughly chopped- 1 Tbsp
Almonds, chopped- ½ Tbsp
For the sugar syrup
Sugar – 2 cups
Water – 2 ½ cups
Finely powdered cardamom – ¼ Tsp
- Sugar Syrup– Prepare the sugar syrup by mixing the water and sugar and bringing it to a boil. Simmer for a minute. Remove. Add the cardamom powder.
- Grate and knead the chenna and khoya separately and mix them.
- The Filling– Separate 2 Tbsp of the khoya and paneer mixture for the filling. Add the food colour, sugar and the chopped nuts. Reserve.
- Jamuns– Add the maida, corn flour and baking powder to the remaining khoya and paneer mixture. Mix well and knead to bring it together. It will be a soft doughy consistency.
- Separate into sixteen equal balls. Flatten each and place the filling. Make roundels again. You may keep them round shape them oblong like I did here. The balls should be smooth and free of cracks or they will scatter in the ghee.
- Heat the ghee to a medium temperature- it should not be very hot. I always use a deep saucepan with a handle to fry the gulab jamuns. It is easier to stir them without touching them and there are lesser chances of them breaking. Also it ensures even browning.
- Fry all along on low medium heat. When they reach a copper brown hue, you have gulab jamuns ready.
- To get Kaala Jamun, continue to fry till they reach an almost black colour.
- Once evenly coloured, drop them into the warm sugar syrup. Fry them on low-medium heat throughout. Do not crank up the heat or you will end up with an uncooked centre.
- Soak for some time and serve warm. Kaala Jamuns need to be soaked longer than gulab jamuns as they have a thicker covering.
- They can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days. Warm them in the microwave before serving.
*You may skip the filling and make them plain
*In case khoya is not available here is an excellent Instant Khoya recipe by my friend and a very innovative cook, Neha Saxena Gulati.
Take 1/2 cup heavy Cream (If using Amul cream, refrigerate it for a few hours and use just the top thick cream. Discard the watery part)
And 1/2 Cup powdered milk. Mix both in a microwave safe bowl with a spoon till in incorporates well.
Now microwave it for two minutes. Remove and mix and microwave again for thirty seconds.
It usually gets done in about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. In case you feel it hasn’t come together, microwave for another 30 seconds. Make sure you don’t overdo it else it might burn. Keep an eye.
The same can be done on stove-top in medium heat, in a non stick pan. Just cook till all comes together.