Happy 2016 you’ll ❤
And in the New Year, I reiterate what I always say- Mommies are the best! Mine knows of my madness to recreate restaurant style dishes at home and got me this Gulab Jamun recipe straight from a halwai (professional Indian sweet maker). The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity and the fact that it never fails you! No hard stone like balls, no uncooked centres and no crumbly dough, this is simple perfection. Love you Ma for giving me the recipe for this copper-hued, melt in the mouth goodness!
Gulab Jamuns are sure to attend all Indian weddings and celebratory occassions and real easy to make at home.No gulab/rose in them, but called so because of their possible Persian origin where ‘gul-aab’ means rose water, which may have been used to flavour the sugar syrup. Jamun, they say, refers to its dark colour. It is a milk solid (khoya and paneer) based fried round dumpling, getting its dark red colour becasuse of the Khoya/mawa/milk fudge used to make it.
To get 20 medium Gulab Jamuns you need
500 grams of Khoya/Mawa ( I make my own khoya. Find my simple recipe here. Store bought khoya can be used instead)
125 grams maida/all purpose flour/plain flour
160 grams paneer/cottage cheese (the halwai’s instructions were to get paneer from 1 ½ kilos of whole milk. I got 162 grams of paneer. I always make paneer at home. Find the procedure here)
500 grams of desi ghee to fry the jamuns (yeah, Gulab Jamuns have to be fried in ghee, there is no other way. Any other way is blasphemy 😛 )
For the sugar syrup
Boil one litre of water with 750 grams of sugar till the sugar melts completely and the liquid reaches a rolling boil.
Add one teaspoon powdered ilaichi/cardamom and some crushed saffron strands if you like
For the Gulab Jamuns
Mix all the three ingredients very well till you have a smooth dough.
Roll out into balls. I use tablespoon measure to get equal sized balls. Fry on a medium flame till they reach a beautiful copper colour.
I use a heavy bottomed milk pan with a handle to fry the jamuns. This helps me stir them without having to touch them in the early part of frying. This way there is no risk of breaking them
Dip into sugar syrup for 30 minutes at least.
Serve hot or grab cold from the fridge, they are always yummy yum!
Make them this winter and impress 😀
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 Gulab Jamuns
Khoya/Maawa/Milk Fudge –1 cup
Chenna/paneer/cottage cheese – ½ cup
Maida/All purpose flour – 2 Tbsp
Corn Flour-1 Tsp
Baking Powder – 1/8 tsp
Ghee – for frying
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.
I am taking this popular Indian delight to Fiesta Friday# 26 at Angie’s. A big thank you to Prudy and Jess for co-hosting the event ❤
Paneer/ cottage cheese is used in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes. Though it is easily available at sweet shops and the supermarket, I like to make mine at home. For Indian desserts like rasgullas, rasmalai and gulab jamuns, fresh home made paneer is a sure- shot way to get excellent results.
Here is a stepwise illustration on how to make paneer/cottage cheese/chhena at home.
Milk- 1 litre
Lemon Juice/Vinegar- 1-2 Tbsp diluted with 1/2 a Tbsp of water
Some ice cubes (optional)
- Bring to boil a litre of milk (though any variety may be used, I prefer fresh cow milk)
- Gradually add lemon juice/vineager stirring the milk till the time the milk mass separates from the greenish whey/liquid
- Turn off the heat
- Add 10-12 ice cubes
- Strain and wash thoroughly with cool drinking water to get rid of the sour lemony smell
- Transfer to a muslin cloth,tie the cloth holding the corners and hang for 10-15 minutes to drain the excess whey.
Your fresh homemade paneer is ready to use.
It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours but is best used fresh.